This week, the state Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety was scheduled to hear some bad gun bills, according to Alice Tripp, Legislative Director for the Texas State Rifle Association.
She said HB 255, by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Northwest Dallas County), relates to the offense involving the carrying of handguns by license holders on the premises or property of certain recreational facilities.
She said, “This bill opens PC 46.035 and adds both private and tax-payer owned properties which may be posted PC 30.06 and PC 30.07. Private property owners have that ability now, so why add language to statute and why include certain tax-payer owned facilities not currently prohibited?”
HB 234 is another anti-gun bill from Rep. Anchia, according to Tripp. She said, “It would limit the application of last session’s legislation to allow licensees to complain to the Texas Attorney General’s office if government property is posted off limits.”
This bill essentially exempts those governmental entities and agencies from statutory fines, she said, if the property or portion of the property is occupied by a non-governmental entity or person who is occupying the tax-payer owned property, making PC 30.06 and PC 30.07 enforceable. “Remember, this is on government-owned property only if the property is occupied by a non-governmental entity or person,” she added.
Another bill Tripp wants gun owners to know about is HB 899 (by Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-West Texas), which relates to the notice given by a property owner prohibiting a handgun licensee from carrying a handgun on certain property.
Tripp said this bill creates a new version of the 20-year-old PC 30.06 sign, which includes a Ghostbuster-style graphic and reduces the size of the sign to 8.5 by 11 inches.
“Over one million active handgun licensees in this state rely on consistency in Texas law when it comes to the crime of trespass by a licensee,” Tripp said. “Businesses that want to post their property off-limits do so, and those who do not, don’t. The size of the sign is meant to give licensees the earliest warning possible so licensees can secure their firearms before unintentionally entering posted property.”
HB 4200 by Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) creates an offense in state law for “knowingly” purchasing or attempting to purchase a firearm when the person is prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law. It requires the FFL to report the attempted purchase to the DPS; then, DPS is required to investigate the attempted purchase and report to the appropriate local authorities for prosecution.
Tripp said, “Every year thousands of people are incorrectly rejected by NICS due to out-right error or identity theft. Federal law provides an appeals process, and most of those who are wrongfully denied are ultimately allowed to complete their purchase. Under HB 4200, the federal firearms dealer would have reported the rejection to DPS and the perspective purchaser would be under investigation long before that person had the opportunity to clear his name through the NICS appeals process, a part of the NICS system,” Tripp said.
HB 3989 by Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) affects the locations where a person may openly carry a holstered handgun. This bill extends the current definition of an amusement park to include the entire property, even the parking lot, Tripp said. “If it were to pass, those attending the State Fair could be a target, as well as attendees to The Houston Livestock Show.”
Founded in 1919, the Texas State Rifle Association is the largest firearms and shooting sports organization in Texas with nearly 40,000 members. TSRA is also the largest, award-winning state affiliate of the National Rifle Association and is sanctioned by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. As a part of its public education efforts, the association produces a full-color bimonthly publication, TSRA Sportsman, which updates members on current news, hunter education programs, shooting sports competitions, and important issues affecting their Second Amendment rights. The TSRA also hosts an annual meeting that features exciting fund-raising auctions, informative speakers, exhibitors, and other events. For membership or other information, visit http://tsra.com/join-3 or call 512.615.4200.