History of LWVTX Action on Gun Safety

History of LWVTX Action on Gun Safety

2001: Several gun control bills worked their way through the 77th session. Legislation, which did not pass, would have banned gun possession by juveniles convicted of felony-level crimes. Other legislation supported by the League, which also didn't pass, related to background checks of all sales at gun shows.

2003: There was a great deal of interest in who should be allowed to carry handguns and with allowing gun permit holders in other states to carry handguns in Texas. The League strongly opposes the new law that took away the power of the cities to have "Gun Free Zones" on designated municipal property. Courts, schools, and race-tracks were exempted.

2015 Texas continues to encourage the ownership and use of guns. Gun Laws passed this session include an Open Carry law which allows Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders to carry a gun visibly and a Campus Carry law which allows CHL license holders to carry on public school colleges and universities.

2017 There were over 200 bills filed this session with the words, handguns, firearms, or weapon.

A good bill that is now law. HB 2359 made the discharge of a firearm in a public place illegal.

 The ugliest bill that is now law.

  • HB 1692 (Hefner, Bonnen of Brazoria, Dutton, Raymond, Huberty, et al.): Would not allow a school district, open-enrollment charter school, or private school from prohibiting a person, including a school employee, who holds a license to carry a handgun from transporting or storing a handgun or other firearm or ammunition in a locked, privately owned or leased motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area provided by the district or charter or private school, provided that the handgun, firearm, or ammunition is not in plain view. Died in Calendars Committee. Amended to SB 1566 on its second reading.
  • SB 1566 (Kolkhorst, King): Several House members led a valiant effort to remove the amendment from SB 1566 on its third reading, but were unsuccessful. Passed and signed by the governor. Opposed by the Texas Association of School Boards.

Bad bills that are now law.

  • SB 16 (Nichols, Huffman, Bettencourt, Burdwell, Buckingham et al.): Decreased the fee for the issuance of an original or renewed license to carry a handgun.
  • SB 263 (Perry, Springer, White, Shaheen, Oleverson et al.): Removed the requirement that applicants to obtain or renew a handgun license be able to demonstrate the minimum proficiency of operating a .32 caliber or above handgun. Proponents argued that Texans should not be prevented from obtaining a handgun license because of physical injury or handicap or preferences for a caliber weapon.

Bad bills that did not pass. HB 375 and HB 1911 would have allowed persons eligible to purchase a handgun to carry without a license. HB 375 died in House Homeland Security & Public Committee; HB 1911 died in chamber.

2019.  Several laws will go into effect that weaken gun regulations in Texas, yet not a single gun
safety law was passed last session.  We testified in favor of HB 86 (Martinez), creating a criminal
offense for the reckless discharge of a firearm, but the bill died in House Calendars committee.
We also supported HB 316 (Howard) which would have required the Texas Department of Public
Safety (DPS) to develop and implement a campaign designed to encourage firearm safety and
improve public awareness on the topics of: 1) prevention of firearm accidents involving children, 2)
suicide prevention and 3) the safe handling and storage of firearms. This bill was met with cries that
the campaign would indoctrinate gun owners into giving up their “God given second amendment
rights.” This bill also died in the House Calendars Committee.

The Governor vetoed HB 1168 (Anchia), which would have prevented an airline employee from
possessing a weapon in an airport operations area.

Bills we opposed that passed:  HB 302 (Paul) allows open or concealed carry in apartment
complexes regardless of the owner’s wishes.  HB 1177 (Phelan) which allows persons to carry a
handgun during a declared disaster and in a shelter.
The governor has stated that there will be no special session to address mass shootings in Texas.
Inaction is not a solution