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GOA Texas Bullet: 2-2-2021

Constitutional Carry filed in the Senate 

  • Sen. Springer and Sen. Buckingham joint authored SB 540, Constitutional Carry.
  • This is the first time since 2015 that Constitutional Carry has been filed in the Senate.
  • SB 540 would recognize the right of anyone 21 and older who can legally possess a firearm to carry a handgun, open or concealed, without a permit.
  • Look for a full analysis soon highlighting the specific provisions of this bill and HB 1238, Constitutional Carry in the House.

Additional Senate Bills Filed to Protect Gun Freedoms 

Sen. Springer filed the following priority gun rights legislation:

  • SB 546: Repeal “gun-free” zones (from Penal Code 46.03 and 46.035) for those who can legally carry a handgun
  • SB 541: 2A Sanctuary State – declares that our state resources and personnel will not be used to enforce Federal gun laws or regulations enacted after Jan. 19, 2021 (similar to HB 635 by Rep. Krause)
  • SB 542: Texas Firearm Freedom – exempts “Made in Texas” firearms, ammunition, and accessories from Federal laws (identical to HB 915 by Rep. Krause)
  • SB 547: Repeal governor’s emergency power to control the sale, transportation, and use of weapons and ammunition (identical to HB 26 by Rep. Swanson)
  • SB 548: Anti-Red Flag – keeps Texas out of any Federal red flag law scheme (identical to HB 336 by Rep. Cain)
  • SB 543: Texas Hearing Protection Act – repeals state law suppressor restrictions and exempts “Made in Texas” suppressors from Federal laws (identical to HB 957 by Rep. Oliverson)
  • SB 545: Domestic Violence Victim Defense – recognizes the right of those protected by a restraining order, age 18 or older, who can legally own a firearm to carry without a permit and without “gun-free” zones (identical to HB 1094 by Rep. Oliverson)

See Sen. Springer’s full list of 11 bills filed yesterday.

2A Sanctuary State 

  • Multiple versions of Second Amendment Sanctuary State legislation have been introduced in both the House and the Senate (HB 112, identical to SB 513; HB 635, similar to SB 541; HB 919, identical to SB 499).
  • All of these bills would declare that our state resources and personnel will not be used to enforce Federal laws or regulations on firearms, ammunition, and accessories.
  • Gun Owners of America has prioritized this type of legislation for years, including in Texas.
  • Gov. Abbott said recently,  “I want to make sure that Texas become a Second Amendment Sanctuary State, so that no government official at any level can come and take your gun away from you.” 
  • In addition to passing 2A Sanctuary State legislation, Texas also must repeal current state law infringements such as “gun-free” zones and the requirement to obtain a permit to carry a handgun.

Waiting for Committees  

  • Speaker Phelan has not yet announced committee assignments. Last session, House committees were announced on January 23.
  • Many gun bills in the House go to the Homeland Security & Public Safety committee. Others go to State Affairs or Criminal Jurisprudence. Those committee chair assignments are critical to passing our priority legislation.
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has already released the Senate committee list.
  • Of note, Sen. Joan Huffman is no longer on Senate State Affairs Committee. For several sessions, she has chaired the State Affairs committee and actively blocked gun rights bills.
  • Committee hearings could begin as early as Feb. 11, according to the schedule set in the Texas Constitution, Article 3, Section 5.