Today in the Texas Legislature–Gun Laws

With 15 gun-related bills discussed in the Texas House, today was a big day for guns in the Lonestar State.

These are a few of the bills that passed the House:

  • HB 972, which pertains to firearms on college campuses (I wrote about it here).
  • HB 47 & HB 48, which reduce the training requirement for concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) from 10-15 hours to 6 hours, and eliminate training for CHL renewals.
  • HB 1009 which creates a new category of school law enforcement officers called school marshals who may serve as armed guards in K-12 schools after completing a training. The bill stipulates that if working in a classroom or around children, the school marshal’s weapon must be locked away but within the marshal’s reach.
  • HB 1076, also known as the “Firearm Protection Act,”  is intended to prevent any Texas law from being used by the federal government to violate the 2nd amendment. This bill might be a violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, so it’s probably going to cost Texas a lot of money to defend. Read a press release about HB 1076 here.

Want more?

You can follow all these bills and more at OpenStates.org. The Dallas Morning News’ Trail Blazer Blog has an article about these bills here, and there’s an editorial about them in the Star-Telegram here.

hundreds of students sit in a lecture hall at the University of Texas

Am I taking notes next to a gun?

hundreds of students sit in a lecture hall at the University of Texas

How many firearms are in this picture?

So far I’ve never had to wonder  which of my classmates are hiding a gun, but the era of unarmed notetaking may be drawing to a close.

Texas HB 972, which would permit concealed handguns to be carried into college classrooms, passed out of committee Friday with a 7-1 vote. The bill does allow universities to opt out of the campus carry provision after consulting with faculty, students, and staff, but it reduces the penalty for violating campus weapon bans from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Of the 9 members of the committee, only El Paso’s Joe Picket voted against it (San Antonio’s Phil Cortez was absent).  The bill is now on it’s way to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Pop Quiz

How many guns belong in a freshman Literature class of 100 students?

A. 1

B. 10

C. 100

D. none of the above.

Here’s how to help:

Call your representative to let them know how you feel about concealed handguns in classrooms and reduced penalties for people who violate campus weapons regulations. Leave a comment on this post to let us know how it went! 

Want more?

Read this article about HB 972 in My SA, like Texas Gunsense on Facebook, see what the NRA says about Texas HB 972, and check out my other posts about gun violence.