Talking Points Booklet: Reducing Carry Regulations
Written by Felisha Bull Published
Reducing Carry Regulations
Although our mission is to repeal the license requirement end government-mandated “gun-free” zones for all honest Texans, we also support partial measures as a step in the right direction. For current law, GOA positions, and points on how to talk about these issues, please see the sections above on “Constitutional Carry” and “Ending ‘Gun-Free’ Zones.”
- SUPPORT: HB 55 by Rep. Swanson would authorize all school marshals to carry their handguns concealed on their person. HB 781 by Rep. Sanford does this for marshals at junior colleges. Currently, those who interact regularly with students must store their guns in locked containers.
- This is a positive step that will help protect students a little bit more.
- The safest place for the marshals to keep their guns is on their person, not locked away.
- For maximum safety and protection, we also must repeal the general ban on armed citizens in schools. See “Ending ‘Gun-Free’ Zone” and “How we talk about School Carry.”
- SUPPORT: HB 530 by Rep. Patterson would allow election judges who have an LTC to carry handguns in polling places. This lines up with Attorney General Paxton’s opinion KP-0212.
- SUPPORT: HB 821 by Rep. White would allow anyone who is 21 (or 18 if military) to obtain a License to Carry provided they can legally possess a firearm and they do not lie on their application. It would strike all the excessive additional requirements in Texas Government Code 411.172.
- Currently, those who are behind on taxes or child support, or clapped with a false arrest or bogus charge of disorderly conduct, are not allowed to apply for a license. If they already had a license, that license can be suspended or revoked. This bill fixes that problem.
- This bill helps more Texans stay safe, but we still want to repeal the license requirement.
- SUPPORT: HB 825 by Rep. Geren would eliminate the fee for an LTC. Currently, the fee is $40. Although we still want to eliminate the license requirement, this bill will help more people be able to carry.
- SUPPORT: HB 854 by Rep. Burns would reduce the penalty for carrying a firearm into a hospital, nursing home, amusement park, or government meeting posted with a 30.06 or 30.07 sign. Currently, the penalty is a Class A. Under this bill, the penalty would be a Class C misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $200, unless the person received oral notice to leave and refused to leave.
- SUPPORT: HB 918 by Rep. Leman would allow 18-20-year-olds to obtain a License to Carry if they are protected under a restraining order and meet all other requirements (besides age) to receive an LTC. Generally, those who are protected by such an order are already victims of family violence. We support the right to carry a handgun for all 18-year-olds who can legally own firearms. Those who are already victims are even more likely to need a gun to defend themselves.
- SUPPORT: HB 956 by Rep. Dutton would repeal the knife carry restrictions that currently prohibit knives with a blade over 5.5” from being carried into in 51% establishments, amusement parks, and churches or other places of worship.
- SUPPORT: HB 1069 by Rep. Harris & HB 1499 by Rep. White would create a First Responder Carry program. Currently, volunteer firefighter and EMS personnel who have an LTC can carry handguns while on the job, including in “gun-free” zones while carrying out their duties. These bills create a 20-hour training program that all firefighter and EMS personnel with an LTC could choose to attend.
- Those who complete the training could carry handguns while on the job, solely for self-defense, including in “gun-free” zones. Employers could not prohibit carry at work.
- HB 1069 also gives a defense to prosecution for carrying past 30.06 and 30.07 signs.
- We support all honest Texans’ ability to defend themselves – including EMS personnel.
- SUPPORT: HB 1407 by Rep. Schaefer would clarify that a license holder does not need to conceal or wear her handgun in a motor vehicle if the handgun is in a holster.
- SUPPORT: HB 1378 by Rep. Patterson would repeal the “gun-free” zone carry ban for LTC holders in 51% locations if the establishment holds a food & beverage certificate from TABC, while HB 1379 by Rep. Patterson & SB 549 by Sen. Springer would allow carry in places that get under 60% of their income from sale or service of alcohol for on-premises consumption.
- A 51% location is an establishment that makes 51% or more of its income from sale or service of alcohol for on-premises consumption – i.e., a bar.
- LTC holders currently face a 3rd-degree felony for carrying in 51% locations.
- SUPPORT: HB 1548 by Rep. Cecil Bell would declare that a private business owner cannot be held liable merely because he or she allows carry or does not prohibit carry on the property.
- SUPPORT: HB 1788 by Rep. Hefner & SB 534 by Sen. Hughes would release schools from liability for damages resulting from their decision to allow armed security or armed citizens on campus or from the reasonable actions of those armed people. It would release security personnel and legally armed citizens from liability for damages resulting from their reasonable actions involving the use of a firearm. This bill may encourage more school districts to choose to allow carry.
- SUPPORT: HB 1856 by Rep. Hefner & SB 637 by Sen. Hughes would stop hotels from prohibiting guests with an LTC from carrying firearms and ammunition between their hotel rooms and vehicles or storing firearms and ammunition in their rooms or vehicles on hotel property. Hotels could still require that handguns be carried concealed, or that firearms and ammunition be carried in a case or bag.
- SUPPORT: SB 550 by Sen. Springer would remove the “belt or shoulder” holster requirement for open carry, allowing LTC holders to carry openly (visibly) in any holster.
See our updated bill list at txgoa.us/87r.
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