By Charles L. Cotton
Occasionally it is necessary to pass a bill not to change the law, but to clarify it so that it is not abused. This is the case with Sen. Creighton’s (R, A+) SB349 dealing with possession of certain weapons, including firearms, on school “activity grounds.” The Penal Code sections discussed below apply not only to primary and secondary schools (K through 12th grade), but to colleges and universities as well. However, the college and university prohibitions do not apply to people who hold a license to carry a handgun. Licensees are subject to the so-called campus-carry law set out in Tex. Penal Code §46.035(a-1), (a-2) & (a-3), but those sections are not relevant to SB349 or this article.
Democrat State Senator Royce West has filed a bill that can only be described as both unnecessary and a trap for law-abiding Texans. SB206 would create new offenses for conduct that is already unlawful under Texas law, but in so doing, it sets a trap by deferring to ambiguous and ever-changing federal case law. In order to fully understand just how bad SB206 is, one must consider it in light of current Texas and federal law, as well as a shocking 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with firearms.
When Texas adopted the so-called “Concealed Handgun Law” in 1995, several restricted areas were created where it would be unlawful for a person with a Concealed Handgun License, now known as a License to Carry a Handgun, (“Licensee”) to carry their self-defense handgun. Over the following twenty-one years, Licensees have proven themselves to be the most law-abiding of Texans. Their track record is amazing and it is discussed in detail below.