Self-defense is a statewide constitutional issue, not a local issue.
Two “gun bills” were the subject of a public hearing on Thursday, February 12, 2015 in the Senate State Affairs Committee. SB11 is this session’s campus-carry bill and SB17 a/k/a SB346 would allow people with a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL) to carry their self-defense handgun either openly or concealed. It was a very long day for everyone and the testimony was pretty much what one would expect. This article will address only SB11, campus-carry.
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.