New State Law confirms those Licensed to Carry in Texas are Allowed In City Hall (note: black underlined and bolded items below indicate new handgun laws and current interepretation)

 

Community Impact Reports On Texas Handgun Licensees

 

Governor's Office: New State Law Allows Concealed Carry In City Hall

By Joe Lanane

Community Impact

 

The city of Austin is violating state law by prohibiting licensed concealed handgun carriers inside City Hall, according to the Texas governor's office.

A memo issued Oct. 9 by Gov. Greg Abbott's legal team claims licensed concealed handgun carriers cannot be prevented from entering multipurpose government buildings as part of a new law that was approved this year and went into effect Sept. 1. Two district attorneys from Hays County and Tom Green County sought the governor's opinion, which in turn was forwarded to the state attorney general's office for final interpretation.

"The newly enacted SB 273 makes it unlawful-upon pain of civil penalties-for a state agency or political subdivision to completely bar entry to a governmental building unless the entire building is dedicated" to court proceedings or governmental meetings, according to the memo.

A spokesperson for the Texas attorney general confirmed Ken Paxton's office received the governor's memo, but he has not yet issued responses to the two opinion requests or 25 statewide complaints regarding related law violations. All complaints are currently pending, according to the spokesperson, and no review timeline was provided.

But the city of Austin argues that City Hall should be exempt from the state law because community court proceedings are sometimes held at the building, said Mark Washington, acting assistant city manager. He also cites other protected activities, such as regular council meetings, work sessions, and board and commission meetings, as another reason why licensed concealed handgun carriers should not be allowed inside City Hall.

"It's our usage of City Hall that allows it to be a prohibited place," Washington said.

However, the memo from the governor's office addresses "some confusion" caused by state law language. Licensed concealed handgun carriers can only be barred from portions of public buildings where governmental meetings and court proceedings occur while they are underway, according to the memo. That means security checkpoints can be set in front of council chambers, for example, but not the City Hall entrance, according to the governor's legal interpretation.

"It is the state agency's or political subdivision's burden to identify the particular portion of [the] building where it wants to ban CHL holders," the memo states. 

Doorways to both Austin City Hall entrances currently have gun restriction signs posted. One security guard said licensed concealed handgun carriers are still not allowed to enter the building, and Washington confirmed there has been no change to City Hall's security policies.

"Gun advocacy is a very sensitive topic, and I want to respect the rights of citizens of Texas to be law-abiding and to have the ability to carry those weapons where they're permitted," Washington said. "I also respect the concerns of other people who are concerned about safety, but I really don't want to go too far off from what our current practice is."

A separate law that goes into effect Jan. 1 allows all CHL license holders to carry their weapon openly in Texas-as long as it is holstered-anywhere concealed carry was previously allowed. That does not include universities, which will be required to allow concealed carry in certain areas starting Aug. 1 as part of another law passed during the recent legislative session. The same law will apply to community colleges starting Aug. 1, 2017.

In Closing: 

A complete list of pro-gun and anti-gun bills and more information can be found under the Legislative News header at www.tsrapac.com  

 






Governor Greg Abbott signs HB 910-Open Carry at Red's Indoor Range

Successes in Austin

Governor Greg Abbott signs HB 910-Open Carry at Red’s Indoor Range in Austin on June 13th 84th Session of the Texas Legislature 2015 Legislative Session

SB 473 by Sen. Charles Perry and by Rep. John Frullo-repeals PC 46.05 (c) dealing with “defense to prosecution” if the class 3 device is fully registered with BATFE.  Click links for most recent action, text and bill history.  This bill has been signed and will take effect on Sept. 1 2015

HB 910 by Rep. Larry Phillips and by Sen. Craig Estes-licensed open carry of a handgun. Click on links to read most recent action, text, and bill history.  HB 910 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2016 at the request of DPS due to 4th re-certification of CHL instructors plus the need to update websites and printed materials.  Governor Abbott will sign HB 910 and has 30 days past the end of session to officially act or bills become law without being signed. 

SB 11 by Sen. Brian Birdwell and Rep. Allen Fletcher-Allows CHL (no open carry) to carry on most college and university campuses.  Private colleges can move to opt-out with theirs building and property with the exception of the parking lot by posting PC 30.06.  Public colleges with input from students, faculty and staff may restrict certain sensitive locations and post those specific locations PC 30.06.  If this is done public colleges are required to provide, during even numbered years, the Texas Legislature with a list of the locations and reasons for the prohibitions.  Passed and Signed by Governor Abbott

SB 273 by Sen. Donna Campbell and Rep. Ryan Guillen- Creates a process to require the removal of a PC 30.06 sign from certain governmental property and a significant fine for failure to do so. Signed on June 16th.  Takes effect Sept. 1, 2015

SJR 22 by Sen. Brandon Creighton and by Rep. Trent Ashby–Proposed constitutional amendment the right to hunt and fish, an amendment to the Texas constitution to protect our hunting and fishing heritage for future Texans.   Passed, signed and will now appear asProposition 6 on the November 3rd general election ballot.  For voter registration and early voting information-Click here.

***Again, SJR 22 will be listed on the November 3rd General Election ballot as Prop 6.    Mark your Calendar.  The work is not done!

TSRA Opposed Bills–All Defeated.

HB 2405 by Rep. Poncho Nevarez-Would create a uniform “no gun” sign with wording and graphics to target handgun licensees.  This bill was stopped by TSRA.   Thank you, Chairman Phillips.

SB 256 by Sen. Rodney Ellis-Relating to an offense for the unlawful possession or transfer of a large-capacity magazine.   Did not receive a hearing!

SB 257 by Sen. Rodney Ellis-Relating reporting a lost or stolen firearm, creating an offense with criminal penalties. Did not receive a hearing!

SB 258 by Sen. Rodney Ellis-Relating to creation of offenses concerning firearm sales at gun shows. Did not receive a hearing!

SB 259 by Sen. Rodney Ellis– Relation to criminal history background checks for all firearm transfers. Did not receive a hearing!

Session ended on June 2nd.




The following is an urgent note from the Texas State Rifle Association regarding the most current Gun-Grab attempt by the Obama Administration:

"Dear TSRA members, family and friends,

With his days in office numbered and his inability to force gun control laws on Congress, our President is attempting to pass his agenda through executive order within various federal agencies.  

At one time BATF was considering doing away with a type of common ammunition saying it was "armor-piercing"   So many shooters wrote during a time for public comment, the proposal was withdrawn.  We were told there were other types of ammunition on that wish-list.

The list of encroachments and threats to law-abiding gun owners has gone on and on from the very beginning with Fast and Furious.

The latest surfaced a few weeks ago when information became public that an executive order was being considered which would require the names of anyone giving up their fiduciary control on Social Security payments to be reported into NICS as being mentally unable or incapable of making good decisions and no longer able to purchase a firearm.  

NO!  This does not mean the person was "adjudicated" through the courts.  This means you decided to have someone else receive your social security check for whatever personal reason or convenience and suddenly you lose your right to purchase a firearm.   We've had similar reports from folks collecting funds through the Veterans Administration.

Below is NRA's recent alert explaining the issue and Senator Cornyn's legislation  

On August 5th, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S. 2002, a bill to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens from continued bureaucratic abuse by the Obama Administration.  As we reported on July 18th, Obama's latest gun grabbing ploy was to forward all individuals receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits through a representative payee to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as "prohibited persons" under federal firearms law.  This is estimated to impact over 4 million Americans.

But this approach is nothing new to Obama bureaucrats.  In fact, stripping Second Amendment rights by administrative fiat has become Obama's favored tactic in the face of Congress' refusal to pass gun control.  As we've previously reported, the Veterans Administration (VA) was the first to develop an administrative mechanism to forward records to NICS without due process protections in place.  The VA is doing so for those veterans who have a fiduciary assigned to their account.  This is being done without any adjudication or finding that such veterans pose a danger to the community, but simply because they need help managing their financial affairs.

While Obama may relish the ease by which his pencil-pushers can deprive American citizens of constitutional protections, the NRA has pressed Congress for legislation to end this abuse.   Senator Cornyn answered our call by introducing S. 2002, a bill that provides critical protections needed in the face of Obama's bureaucratic onslaught. 

The bill clarifies that an "adjudication" under the Gun Control Act's (GCA) mental health provisions will require due process protections, including a full hearing in which an individual has notice, the opportunity to participate, and the right to counsel.   Moreover, the findings of such a process are clearly specified and focus on adjudications that involve individuals that are a danger to themselves or others. 

Importantly, the bill removes the category "lacks the ability to contract or manage affairs" as relevant to the determination of a prohibited person under the GCA.  This provision was the hook used by the VA and SSA, and presumably being considered by other federal agencies under Obama's directive, to sweep broad swaths of the American public into NICS.  

For veterans, the bill even provides additional protections.  It requires notification to veterans who have been submitted to NICS under the "fiduciary" program and an opportunity to have their individual case reviewed by a board established for this purpose.  The standard is exactly where it should be, requiring the new board to find the veteran is actually a danger to themselves or others to justify retaining their record in NICS.  In all cases, the board's decision will be subject to court review. 

The bill would also significantly expand avenues of relief from firearm prohibitions for others, including those who have their record expunged, those who are no longer subject to an order for treatment, and those who have been granted relief by a state program.   The bill further requires the Attorney General to remove from NICS the record of any person who would not be considered prohibited under the new requirements of the bill.  

The states will be encouraged to submit records with a "carrot and stick" approach where the states can maximize grant allocations by forwarding 90% or more of disqualifying mental health records within 18 months of the bill's passage.  Importantly, the bill's safeguards provide the standards by which records can be transmitted.  Only those mental health adjudications which comply with the new due process protections are to be forwarded.  

In summary, this bill would protect millions of law-abiding citizens from bureaucratic abuse by the Obama Administration, while ensuring only relevant records that comply with the new due process safeguards are entered into NICS. 


Please mark your calendar: 

Support an Amendment to the Texas Constitution 

Prop 6 the Right to Hunt and Fish 

Voting Information

Last day for Voter Registration is October 5th 2015.

Early Voting begins on October 19th and ends October 30th.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd 2015.

Also, members, we're now officially in the campaign season and we have friends in high places whose reelection may be at risk.  Please give to the TSRAPAC.  Go to tsrapac.com for ways to give or call the office at 512-615-4200 or look for the form in your TSRA Sportsman.

SB 273 by Senator Donna Campbell/Representative Ryan Guillen takes effect on Sept. 1st.  This bill provides a process for licensees and others to use to require governmental entities to remove improperly posted PC 30.06 signs from public property, open to the general public and not restricted by current law.   Look for an explanation at Legislative News www.tsrapac.com

And as always,

Keep the faith.

Alice Tripp
Legislative Director
Texas State Rifle Association
the NRA state affiliate





SJR 22 by Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) and Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin)a constitutional amendment, the right to hunt and fish by traditional methods, passed in the Texas House today.  Passage means the measure will be included on the general election ballot in November 2015 and will require your vote to protect future generations of Texas hunters. 

Kudo's to Senator Creighton and Representative Ashby!

Urgent Action!

HB 910 by Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman)/Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls)   This week Licensed Open Carry passed out of Senate State Affairs Committee and is now listed on the Senate Intent Calendar. The measure could be eligible for the Senate floor as early as Friday.  Contact your State Senator and the Lt. Governor in support of HB 910, see links below.  The bill must move through the Senate quickly and return to the House one last time for concurrence on Senate changes.

SB 273 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)/Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) is set on the House Calendar for May 22nd.  This measure would allow for fines on governmental entities who improperly post PC 30.06 or significantly similar signs to prohibit licensees from public property, not off-limits in the Penal Code.  The measure passed in the House and Senate last session but was lost due to an over-reaching Senate amendment.   Contact your State Rep. and Speaker Joe Straus on this bill, see links below. 

SB 11 by Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)/Rep. Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball)-Campus Carry is still in Calendars Committee.  Contact your State Rep.and Speaker Joe Straus on this bill, see links below.  This important personal protection bill must move quickly.

 SB 476 by Sen. Kolkhorst (R-New Braunfels)/ Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth)-CLEO sign-off for suppressors and other Class 3 devices.  SB 476 is currently in House Calendars.
Contact your State Rep. and Speaker Joe Straus on this bill, see links below.  We need this bill to move quickly.

HB 849 by Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall)a bill which provides two sales tax holidays for Texas hunters, must have a hearing in Senate Finance committee and then pass on the Senate floor to complete the process. Contact your State Senator and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick on this bill, see links below.  We need this bill to move quickly.

Members, Act Today!

Call and Email your State Representative 

Call and Email your State Senator:

Call and Email Lt. Governor Dan Patrick 

Call and Email the Texas Speaker of the House  



84th Session of the Texas Legislature

Point of Order

A Point of Order Attempt on HB 910!

NFA Clarification Bills

***HB 989 by Rep. John Frullo/SB 473 by Sen. Charles Perry Repeals PC 46.05 (c) dealing with “defense to prosecution” if the class 3 device is fully registered with BATFE.  Click links for most recent action, text and bill history.

***HB 1179 by Rep. Charlie Geren/SB 476 by Sen. Kolkhorst CLEO Shall-Sign, sets up criteria for chief law enforcement signature on ATF form 4 applications plus an appeal process, includes immunity language for CLEO. Click links to read most recent action, text and bill history.

Open Carry Bills

***HB 910 by Rep. Larry Phillips/SB 17 by Sen. Craig Estes-licensed open carry of a handgun. Click on links to read most recent action, text, and bill history.

CHLs on College and University Campuses

***HB 937 by Rep. Allen Fletcher/SB 11 by Sen. Brian Birdwell-Allows CHLs to carry on most college and university campuses. Click on links to read most recent action, text, and bill history.

CHL Related Bills

***HB 226 by Rep. Ryan Guillen/SB273 by Sen. Donna Campbell–Carrying by a CHL on governmental property. Click on links to read most recent action, text, and bill history

***HB 284 by Rep. Drew Springer/SB 179 by Sen. Charles Perry–Lowers the caliber requirement for CHL handgun proficiency exam.  Click on links to read most recent action, text, and bill history.

SB 311 by Sen. Donna Campbell-Makes changes to where a CHL can carry in PC 46.03 and PC 46.035  (Press Release)

***HB 308 by Rep. Drew Springer-Places a CHL may carry a handgun. Click on link to read action, text, and bill history.

Hunting and Gun Ownership Related Bills

***HB 849 by Rep. Chris Paddie/SB 228 by Sen. Brandon Creighton-sales tax holiday for hunters and gun owners.  Click on links for most recent action, text, and bill history.

***SJR 22 by Sen. Brandon Creighton/HJR 61 by Rep. Trent Ashby–Proposed constitutional amendment the right to hunt and fish.  Click on links for most recent action, text, and bill history.

TSRA Opposed Bills

***HB 2405 by Rep. Poncho Nevarez-Would create a uniform “no gun” sign with wording and graphics to target handgun licensees.  Click on for most recent action, text and bill history.

SB 256 by Sen. Rodney Ellis-Relating to an offense for the unlawful possession or transfer of a large-capacity magazine.

SB 257 by Sen. Rodney Ellis-Relating reporting a lost or stolen firearm, creating an offense with criminal penalties

SB 258 by Sen. Rodney Ellis-Relating to creation of offenses concerning firearm sales at gun shows

SB 259 by Sen. Rodney Ellis– Relation to criminal history background checks for all firearm transfers

Session Ends June 2nd.


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