Gun Owners of America

TEXAS EDITION
Howdy! We’re working to pass Constitutional Carry and get rid of government bans on gun carry. Join us and help Texas win!
Events Legislative Session
You are the key to passing Constitutional Carry in Texas.

Join the Alert List.

Be the first to know when your action is needed for gun rights. A flood of phone calls can make a difference!

Attend an Activist Training.

Attend a  legislative training and learn to be an effective advocate for gun rights — even on little time and low budget.

Speak Up During Session.

Plan now to attend hearings on gun bills in Austin throughout Spring 2019. Click for details.

Legislative Session

The 86th legislative session runs Jan. 8-May 27. Check back here often. We’ll be posting detailed information as soon as it’s available, including bill numbers, bill analysis, hearing dates, action alerts, and more.

Texas' 86th Legislature Regular Session ENDS in . . .

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Hearings

(Hearing dates will be listed here as they are available.)

  • See calendar of all upcoming hearings – HOUSE or SENATE.

This is the single most important time to show up at the Capitol. We normally get about 3 days’ notice for a hearing. Plan now to take a day off work during the spring , typically February, March, or April.

Action Alerts

Action alerts relating to the Texas legislative session will be posted here as they’re available.

Gun Bills

Bills can be filed from November 12-March 8.

CLICK HERE FOR HANDOUT — Full list & descriptions of bills to support and oppose

Scroll down for sortable spreadsheet of bills to support and oppose.

Priority Bills to Support:

1. HB 357 (Stickland):  Constitutional Carry / “Cardless Carry”  (LINKS:  Bill info  |  Read the bill)

Repeals general bans on carrying handguns, allowing people who are age 21 or older and not otherwise prohibited from possessing handguns to carry them open or concealed in the same places where licenseholders can currently carry open or concealed. Addresses TABC sign, foster parents. Does not allow LEO to disarm or detain solely because someone is carrying a handgun. Still requires a permit to carry on college campuses. Allows private businesses to prohibit unlicensed carry under 30.06 and 30.07. Prohibits carrying handgun if prohibited from possessing handguns or if committing any crime (other than Class C traffic misdemeanor).

2. HB 227 (Krause):  Made In Texas  (LINKS: Bill info  |  Read the bill)

Maintains that firearms and accessories made & sold in Texas (& that remain in Texas) are not subject to federal firearms regulations. This specifically includes suppressors. It does not currently include fully automatic weapons, although we’d like to see that added. Insignificant or generic parts may be imported from other states. Firearms manufactured and sold in Texas must have “Made in Texas” clearly stamped on them.

Also: “On written notification to the attorney general by a United States citizen who resides in this state of the citizen’s intent to manufacture a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition to which this chapter applies, the attorney general shall seek a declaratory judgment from a federal district court in this state that this chapter is consistent with the United States Constitution.”

3. HB 338 (Krause):  Federal Firearms Protection (LINKS: Bill info  |  Read the bill)

Forbids a state agency, city/county/other political subdivision, or person employed by them (LEO) from enforcing any any federal regulation, prohibition, or ban on firearms, ammo, or firearms accessories that does not exist in Texas state law. A firearm acessory is anything used with or mounted on a firearm. There is an exception for laws already in effect pertaining to border security. An agency who breaks this law would not receive state grant funds, and the attorney general may issue a court order for them to comply with this law if a citizen complains. The attorney general would be required to defend any agencies if the federal government sues them for following this law.

Additional Bills to Support:

  • HB 419 (Geren) – $0 LTC
  • SB 117 (Creighton) — closes “School Field Trip loophole,” protecting licenseholders

Currently, even those with a license to carry are prohibited from carrying “on any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution [school] is being conducted.” Depending on interpretation, this could leave gun carriers in an unprotected realm if they happen to be in a place that would otherwise be lawful to carry but where a school group has walked in — such as a restaurant or the State Capitol. This bill provides a small fix intended to clarify this code. It narrows the language to say “on any grounds or building owned by and under the control of the institution and on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted.” 

Helpful links to find bills:

Find LOTS of helpful information at TLO: capitol.texas.gov:

Bill List – Searchable and Sortable

Bill #
GOA Position
Author
Extended Description
HB 38noCanalesCurrent Federal law does not generally require markings on firearms manufactured for personal use. This bill would require markings on such guns. Example: someone who wanted to purchase an "80% lower receiver" and use it to make a gun -- or someone who already legally owns such a gun -- would be required to apply to the government for a serial number and put it on the gun. Each offense is a Class A misdemeanor for a handgun or Class B for other guns. (A lower receiver is a gun part legally defined as a firearm, but an "80%" lower receiver is lacking a particular hole and is therefore not defined as a firearm.)
HB 86noMartinez, "Mando"Adds a penalty for firing a gun in a direction other than an intended target even if no harm occurred.
HB 95noHinojosa, GinaRequires that gun sellers report to DPS if someone tries to buy a gun and is reported as a prohibited person on a NICS check, and requires that DPS investigates such cases. This is quite problematic given that 95% of NICS blocks are false-positives. Also, it creates an offense with mandatory jail time for trying to purchase a gun if you're forbidden from doing so in places other than the basic Federal gun prohibition law (18 U.S.C. 922 g 4); penalty is a Class A misdemeanor or (for handgun) a state jail felony.
HB 121yesSwansonAdds defense to prosecution for 30.06 and 30.07 if "the license holder was personally given notice by oral communication described by Subsection (b) and promptly departed from the property" for cases such as the licenseholder not seeing a sign.
HB 131noMoodyAllows for firearms to be removed without any criminal conviction and without medical diagnosis of mental illness. Lays out a 3-step process: (1) family member or attorney files a petition explaining that the individual is at imminent risk of using firearms against others or themselves as a result of severe mental illness; (2) court authorizes an emergency order allowing that person's weapons to be confiscated; (3) no later than 14 days after the issuance of such an order, there would have to be a hearing to determine whether to rescind the order, or issue a longer-term protective order authorizing the same, to last a period of 1 year. The individual cannot request a review until at least 91 days after the protective order is issued.
HB 143neutralSwansonSuggests a protocol to provide a storage locker on government property where people can't carry guns. Not mandatory; also there's nothing preventing entities from doing this now without the law being passed.
HB 172noBernalLeaves it up to DPS to decide the size and lettering of 30.06 and 30.07 signs (leaving the door open for very small signs that are easy to miss). (Note: "30.06 and 30.07 signs" are the signs that property owners post to legally prohibit licenseholders from carrying guns on their property.)
HB 195noReynoldsDefines "gun show" as any place besides a retail store where 3 or more people assemble to show or sell guns or gun parts to the public, and requires 30-day notice to be given to authorities before such an event can occur. (Mandatory jail time -- Class A Misdemeanor -- for failure to do so.) Also requires NICS checks for gun sales that happen in those settings.

Current Federal law requires gun dealers to use the NICS system on their gun sales but has no bearing on private sales. The NICS system has a 95% false-positive rate, consistently infringing on people's ability to legally purchase firearms. Currently, Texas law gives private parties have complete freedom to conduct transactions of property (including firearms) as they see fit, as long as they're not knowingly selling guns to someone who is prohibited from owning guns.
HB 227yes - priorityKrauseMaintains that firearms and accessories made & sold in Texas (& that remain in Texas) are not subject to federal firearms regulations. This specifically includes suppressors. It does not currently include fully automatic weapons, although we'd like to see that added. Insignificant or generic parts may be imported from other states. Firearms manufactured and sold in Texas must have "Made in Texas" clearly stamped on them.

Also: "On written notification to the attorney general by a United States citizen who resides in this state of the citizen's intent to manufacture a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition to which this chapter applies, the attorney general shall seek a declaratory judgment from a federal district court in this state that this chapter is consistent with the United States Constitution."
HB 238yes - priorityKrauseForbids a state agency, city/county/other political subdivision, or person employed by them (LEO) from enforcing any any federal regulation, prohibition, or ban on firearms, ammo, or firearms accessories that does not exist in Texas state law. A firearm acessory is anything used with or mounted on a firearm. There is an exception for laws already in effect pertaining to border security. An agency who breaks this law would not receive state grant funds, and the attorney general may issue a court order for them to comply with this law if a citizen complains. The attorney general would be required to defend any agencies if the federal government sues them for following this law.
HB 257noBlancoCurrent law allows school districts to give permission for anyone of their choosing to carry handguns in their schools. This could be heavily restricted (ex., they could select 1 person per 400 students to be a school marshal) or much wider (ex., they could allow anyone with an LTC to carry). This bill would require school districts to give law enforcement a list of campuses at which they allow anyone to carry a gun AND a list of the individuals authorized to carry a gun. This is a huge invasion of privacy particularly in cases where school districts have done the right thing in allowing a wider group to carry handguns for defense.
HB 302PaulUpholds the ability of condo and apartment owners, tenants, and their guests to have firearms in their dwellings and en route between their car and their apartment/condo. Prohibits landlords from prohibiting tenants from having firearms in their rented properties. But it also prohibits a fundamental right to contract as one sees fit. Would support an amendment stating that they may not prohibit firearms other than in a contract (i.e. they may not use 30.06 or 30.07 signs to restrict tenants' firearms).
HB 316neutralHowardTraining in proper firearms use is a positive thing, but it's better done by private organizations. "Well-regulated" in the 1700's meant well-trained and self-regulated -- people who voluntarily gathered and trained in proper use of firearms.
HB 349no BlancoBans "a part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun." In addition to infringing on rights, this moves into the absurd -- many triggers, muzzle brakes, or other mechanisms to tune a gun can increase the rate of fire, not to mention well-trained fingers.
HB 357yes - prioritySticklandRepeals general bans on carrying handguns, allowing people who are age 21 or older and not otherwise prohibited from posessing handguns to carry them open or concealed in the same places where licenseholders can currently carry open or concealed. Addresses TABC sign, foster parents. Does not allow LEO to disarm or detain solely because someone is carrying a handgun. Still requires a permit to carry on college campuses. Allows private businesses to prohibit unlicensed carry under 30.06 and 30.07. Prohibits carrying handgun if prohibited from possessing handguns or if committing any crime (other than Class C traffic misdemeanor).
HB 419yes GerenRemoves the fee for a license to carry a handgun (originals, change of address, and renewals). Although our actual goal is to remove the license requirement, this in the meantime removes more barriers and makes handgun carry more accessible.
HB 446yesMoodyRemoves the ban on brass knuckles, also removing something that could be construed as such from being "probable cause" for a stop & search.
HB 487neutralVandeaverMandates that LTC classes include classroom instruction on types and uses of ammunition.
SB 61neutralZaffriniRemoves sales tax from "firearm safety" devices -- insinuates that trigger locks, etc. are necessary and/or the most desirable way to ensure safety when in reality it is a mindset and practice that is the most important.
SB 104noMenéndezCurrently, a Texas License to Carry can be used for proof of identification when voting, as it is an official state ID in the same way as a TX driver's license. This would remove that ability.
SB 117yes CreightonThere's an unintended "loophole" currently in law that could lead to the arrest of someone lawfully carrying a handgun. Current law states that it's a felony offense to carry a handgun on the grounds where a school-sponsored activity is happening. This would clarify that it's only an offense if that activity is on grounds owned and under the control of the school (preventing people from being jailed for carrying in the Capitol, or Chili's, or a public museum, etc., when a school group happens to also be there.)
SB 123noWestCreates an additional supposedly "gun-free zone" in airports, in an "adjacent aircraft parking area used by common carriers in air transportation but not used by general aviation." Prohibiting guns in additional places harms the public safety.
SB 157noRodriguezAllows for firearms to be removed without any criminal conviction and without medical diagnosis of mental illness. Lays out a 3-step process: (1) family member or attorney files a petition explaining that the individual is at imminent risk of using firearms against others or themselves as a result of severe mental illness; (2) court authorizes an emergency order allowing that person's weapons to be confiscated; (3) no later than 14 days after the issuance of such an order, there would have to be a hearing to determine whether to rescind the order, or issue a longer-term protective order authorizing the same, to last a period of 1 year. The individual cannot request a review until at least 91 days after the protective order is issued.
SB 158noRodríguezIncreases penalty to Class B misdemeanor (mandatory jail time) for a child's gaining access to a loaded firearm even if there was no harm done. Problematic especially because it is only a defense to prosecution if the child's access was one of the categories deemed legitimate (for lawful defense, or under supervision for hunting or sporting). Also raises penalty to a felony offense if injury occurred.
SB 193neutralPerryThis allows those designated as school marshals to obtain a license to carry a handgun without a fee. We do support removal of barriers to the general public's ability to carry a handgun, but this is problematic because it creates an elite class, advances the school marshal program which was poorly constructed from the beginning, and disingenuously harms the supposed extreme privacy of the school marshal program which is touted as a necessary and defining factor.
SB 203neutralHuffmanRemoves sales tax from "firearm safety" devices -- insinuates that trigger locks, etc. are necessary and/or the most desirable way to ensure safety when in reality it is a mindset and practice that is the most important.
SB 204noHuffmanIncreases penalty to Class B misdemeanor (mandatory jail time) for a child's gaining access to a loaded firearm even if there was no harm done. Problematic especially because it is only a defense to prosecution if the child's access was one of the categories deemed legitimate (for lawful defense, or under supervision for hunting or sporting). Also raises penalty to a felony offense if injury occurred.

Show up when it matters.

Plan now to show up for a committee hearing during the spring. We cannot stress enough how important this is. Here are some tips:

  • We’ll probably have 3 days’ notice. Plan accordingly.
  • Bring a friend. You can’t do it alone – besides, it’s easier to share the gas and driving.
  • Text 512-937-3006 to be connected with others in your area.
  • The best way to prepare is to attend an activist training. Alternately, watch a video.

Show support from home.

When you can’t get yourself to Austin — you can still help.  Watch the livestreams, follow the social media, pay for someone’s gas, order a pizza for hungry activists. Do something from home to show your support.

Do This Stuff Now:

1. Join the Alert List.

2. Find your legislators.

Find out who represents you in the Texas Senate and the Texas House.

3. Ask for a meeting.

Call their district offices, ask to speak with the scheduler, and ask for a meeting with them. Usually you can meet someplace near you (it doesn’t have to be in Austin). Use this directory, or if you can’t find your legislators there, text 512-937-3006 for help.

Note that newly-elected legislators don’t officially take office until Jan. 8, 2018. You can still ask to meet with them now.

4. Meet with them.

Ask them to put their names on bills for Constitutional Carry (permitless carry) and getting rid of government-mandated gun-free zones.

Use these talking points. (Print up a copy and give it to them, too.)

Resources for Activists

Here’s a growing collection of handouts, testimony, and fact sheets on firearms issues.

Please use these resources freely in the fight for our right to keep and bear arms. If you edit them, please remove attribution to GOA.

 

Learn to Be an Effective Activist

Learn about Guns and Gun Laws

Info sheets: Constitutional Carry

Info sheets: Gun-Free Zone, Red Flag, Etc.

Attend an Activist Training.

GOA Texas Director Rachel Malone is traveling across Texas to teach you the tools of grassroots activism. Pick a training near you and bring a gun rights friend. You’ll learn how to be effective at fighting for your gun rights even with limited time and funds.

 

Jan. 22 – Houston

The Black Labrador Pub  |  4100 Montrose Blvd, Houston
6:30-8:30pm | CLICK HERE

 

Jan. 24 – College Station

Outback Steakhouse  |  2102 Texas Avenue South, College Station
6:30-9pm | CLICK HERE

 

Jan. 26 – Tyler

Holiday Inn | 5701 S Broadway Ave, Tyler
 2:30-5pm | CLICK HERE

 

Feb. 7 – Atascosita (north of Houston) 

Tin Roof BBQ  | 18918 Town Center Blvd., Atascosita
Eat @ 6:30; Meeting is 7-8:30pm

 

Feb. 9 – North Dallas / Irving Area

pending (afternoon)

Feb. 10 – North Ft. Worth / Denton Area

Bartonville Town Hall | 1941 Jeter Rd E, Bartonville, TX
2pm-4pm

 

Feb. 11 – Gilmer

Lantana Activity Center  |  80 Lantana Rd, Gilmer
Eat @ 6:30; Meeting is 7-8:30pm | CLICK HERE

 

March 16 – Georgetown (Austin area)

Independent Bank  | 1503 Rivery Blvd, Georgetown

9:30-11:30am

 

Help us keep going.

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Can you give $10? $20? $50?

Twenty bucks gets you a basic year-long membership. Five hundred gets you a lifetime membership. Any amount helps us fight for your freedoms.

Join the alert list.

We think that common sense gun legislation means “constitutional carry” and “end gun free zones.” We intend to fight for it, and we need your help.

Our alert list receives the most up-to-date information throughout session. We’ll help you speak up when it counts!

See our main site:

 

GunOwners.org