5 truths about HB 196 & 1 bombshell truth about Terry Meza
Our GOA inboxes have been blowing up lately with people up in arms about Terry Meza’s bill, HB 196, that supposedly repeals Castle Doctrine and allegedly makes it a crime to defend yourself in your own home with a firearm.
While it’s important for all Texans to be actively involved in the legislative process, it’s also critical that we have our facts straight. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation being spread about this bill.
So we’d like to give you five truths about the bill – and one bombshell truth about Terry Meza.
- The bill would give you a duty to retreat before using deadly force everywhere EXCEPT in your home. Currently, you have no duty to retreat as long as you’re somewhere you have a right to be. This is called “Stand Your Ground” law. The bill would change the law to say you have no duty to retreat only if you are in your habitation. This is known as “Castle Doctrine.”
So, to be accurate, the bill does not repeal “Castle Doctrine,” but it does repeal “Stand Your Ground” law.
- Your quotes attributed to Terry Meza give misinformation about what the bill does. Terry Meza may have misunderstood or lied about her own bill. Or, someone may have put words in her mouth. Either way, the supposed quotes are great clickbait but inaccurate.
The bill, as written, is terrible. There are plenty of great reasons to oppose what it actually does. If we are going to successfully oppose bad bills like this, we have to represent accurately what they do – and then give reasons why we oppose those things. It does no good to proclaim that we oppose a bill because we oppose “XYZ” — when the bill doesn’t even do “XYZ.”
- You can read the bill yourself to find the truth. Instead of taking someone else’s clickbait word for what a bill does, read it for yourself. You can find any bill on Texas Legislature Online – capitol.texas.gov. See HB 196 here.
Reading a bill is somewhat complicated, but anyone can do it. You’ll see some text underlined, some struck out, and some normal. The underlined text is the words being added to the law. The strikeout text is the words being taken away from the law. And the normal text is simply quoting existing law.
The best way to understand what a bill does is to take it one numbered section at a time. For each section, see what section of the code it amends. For example, on this bill, Section One amends Penal Code 9.32. Read that section of the code to see what the law currently does, and then read the section of the bill again to see how it would change the law. Repeat this for every section of the bill.
- I already sent you an email about this bill. If you receive and read FREE action alert emails from Gun Owners of America, you would have already seen us talk about this bill. In fact, we linked to this bill in an email and in a web post so you could have read it yourself. See that post here. I also discussed this exact bill in-depth in this interview with The Pew Pew Jew.
For up-to-date and accurate information about gun rights in Texas, please be sure you are subscribed to our emails (gunowners.org/texas, scroll down to the bottom of the page). Then be sure you actually open and read our emails!
- The worst danger of this bill is that it distracts you from what’s actually happening. This year, we can be fairly certain that the absolute worst gun bills are not going to pass. But we need to remember two important things.
First, the gun controllers absolutely want all these bills to pass – and we must work during elections to be sure pro-gun legislators are elected.
Second, these bills are a “shock and awe” tactic to distract you. Apparently, many of you have fallen for it. But instead of being so absorbed with this one bill, you should be aware of the sneaky gun control bills that actually have a greater chance of passing in a Republican legislature – such as bills that control the way you store your guns, or bills that require increased background checks. And you should be working to actually restore the gun rights we have lost. Instead of just fighting against gun control, it’s time to expand our freedoms. It’s time for Constitutional Carry and ending “gun-free” zones.
Now, here’s your truth bomb about Terry Meza.
GOA endorsed Meza’s opponent, Gerson Hernandez, in the 2020 elections. We told you that Meza was a rabid gun control activist. We begged you to show up and turn out the vote for Hernandez, who wanted to be an advocate for your gun rights. But hardly any of you showed up.
To be clear: you could have had Gerson Hernandez in that seat to fight for your gun rights. Instead, you chose to do other things with your time and allowed Meza to win re-election.
We understand that you cannot work in every single election. But we ask you to remember this bill next time we ask you to show up and blockwalk for someone. Elections have consequences, and you are now experiencing the consequences of the last election.