Friday, July 06, 2007

Wrap-up of 2007 Texas Firearms Legislation

This was a pretty good year for Texas firearms enthusiasts. Some great legislation was passed, and some ugly bills were killed. A whole lot of hard work went into giving us one of the most successful legislative sessions ever for Texas firearm owners. The Texas State Rifle Association played a major role in this accomplishment. If you live in Texas, and you own a firearm, you really should consider becoming a member of the TSRA.

Now, on to the successes:

SB 378 - The Texas Castle Doctrine / Stand Your Ground Bill. Not only passed, but passed with very wide margins. Read my earlier posts concerning this bill here.

HB 233 - Relating to a waiver or reduction of concealed handgun license fees for certain members and veterans of the military. This bill waives all CHL fees for active and honorably discharged military. Passed.

SB 112 - Relating to the confiscation of firearms and ammunition during a state of disaster. This bill prevents a New Orleans style gun confiscation during emergencies. Passed.

HB 308 - Relating to the use of laser sighting devices by hunters who are legally blind. I was surprised by the amount of opposition that cropped up against this bill. This bill allows a legally blind individual (a grandfather with ocular degeneration) to continue to hunt with his son or granddaughter. Passed.

HB 991 - CHL Confidentiality. Prevents news organizations from doing this. It also prevents employers and estranged angry spouses from determining the CHL status of an individual. My commentary on this bill is here. Passed.

SB 322 - Relating to possession of firearms and ammunition in certain foster homes. Earlier this year I commented on new foster care rules that prevented foster parents from having any firearm in the home. My comments can be found here. Senator Duell agreed that this was preposterous, and authored SB 322. This bill prohibits governmental agencies from prohibiting the possession of any guns or ammunition in a foster home. Passed.

HB 1815 - Motorist Protection Act. This particular bill should not have been necessary. The Traveling Law passed in the last legislative session made it pretty clear that the free citizens of Texas could carry a concealed, loaded handgun in their motor vehicles. Certain District Attorneys decided they could work their way around that law. HB 1815 closes the perceived loopholes used by quisling District Attorneys. Passed.

Several anti firearm bills were killed.

HB 594 - Closing the Gun Show Loophole. I commented upon this bill here. It died a well deserved death in committee.

HB 595 - Waiting periods for handgun purchases. Another disastrous bill. My comments are here. Thankfully this bill also died in committee.

HB 176 - Noise Regulations. HB 242 - Changes to 30.06. HB 2774 - Making more areas of airports off limits to CHL's. All dead.

The big disappointment of the session was that we did not get an employer parking lot bill passed. My commentary on the various parking lot bills can be found here.

These are the major pieces of firearm related legislation that were dealt with during this session. As you can see, we were very successful this year. This success is due in no small part to folks like you and I, folks who contact their representatives and get involved. The behind the scenes players include Alice Tripp and James Dark of the TSRA and Tara Mica or the NRA. Alice and Tara especially worked very hard at getting this job done.

We also have to thank our pro-freedom legislators, the folks who authored and worked to pass some of this great legislation, and killed the bad.

Now... what's on the agenda for '09?

H/T to Charles, another pro 2A hero here in Texas.

1 comment:

Fits said...

We were well on our way to soundly winning a Parking-Lot bill but the korean-killer ended that. Businesses went so far as to have most or ALL gun related magazines removed from the shelves and banned from offices as a slap in the face to our attempts to bring the Constitution along with us to work. We do remember which politicians turned against us and are already ratcheting up the pressure for the next go-round.