Many issues are best left to the Texas Legislature.
Texas gun owners have enjoyed a strong preemption law that prohibits cities and counties from regulating most aspects of gun ownership and usage. The preemption law was first passed in 1987 and it has been improved periodically over the years. Freshman Senator Don Huffines has filed SB343 that will extend this concept so that Texans are protected from all patchwork, conflicting regulations that make it quite easy to unintentionally violate a local ordinance or regulation. While SB343 is not directly related to firearms, it is much-needed protection for Texans and some of the regulations it would prevent are at least tangentially related to guns.
The need exists, but the cure is too narrow.
Three bills have been filed in the House that would remove some of the off-limits areas for some, but not all, people who have a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL). The areas involved would depend upon the CHL holder’s job title and duties. The specific bills are not identified in this article, as the focal point is not a particular bill or location, but the concept of removing off-limits areas for some CHL holders while retaining them for all others.
Campus-carry and open-carry are on the fast-track in the Senate
One thing is certain, our new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is not afraid to lead off this session with the two most emotionally charged gun bills. Campus-carry (SB11 by Birdwell) and open-carry (SB17 by Estes) are scheduled for public hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday, February 12, 2015. SB11 (campus-carry) has a total of 19 “authors,” enough to get the bill to the Senate floor for debate and for it to pass. SB17 (open-carry) has a total of 12 “authors” and it likely has the support of Senators who have not or will not formally “sign on” to SB17.