In Case You Missed Them: New Laws Effective September 1

We’ve reported on new laws regarding weapons and their legal use that went into effect recently hereherehere, and here. But in case you missed them, here they are again, bullet-point style:

SB 16: LTC Fee Reduction Legislation. Concealed-handgun license fees drop from $140 to $40, and their renewal will also be $40. The cost will be $40 for seniors for their first license instead of $70, and a senior renewal will remain $35. $40 is the most any Texan will pay the state for the License to Carry.

• SB 263: Caliber Requirement for LTC Qualification. Since 1995 there has been a minimum-caliber requirement in the statute for the range proficiency portion of the Texas License to Carry class. Formerly, those seeking a license had to test with a .32 caliber or higher handgun, although there was no caliber requirement regarding the firearm carried by the licensee on a day-to-day basis. This minimum caliber requirement negatively impacts those with hand injuries and the elderly who wish to obtain a license. SB 263 removes the caliber requirement for the range proficiency exam to obtain a Texas License to laws

• HB 435 Volunteer Emergency Service Personnel. Volunteer Emergency Service Personnel (VESP), which includes volunteer firefighters, volunteer emergency medical services, or any individual who provides services for the general public during emergency situations, have expanded carry rights.

• HB 1819 Suppressor Bill. HB 1819 sets up Texas law in preparation for the Hearing Protection Act (HR 367) to pass in Congress. The Hearing Protection Act would remove suppressors, also known as silencers, from the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). The U.S. Congress is expected to pass the Hearing Protection Act, and when the change occurs, Texas law will be ready to accommodate the change. Also, this bill clarifies the murky issues surrounding the Mossberg 590 Shockwave. It amends Texas Penal Code 4605 to state that those weapons not subject to ATF registration, are not prohibited weapons under Texas law. This means that since the ATF has chosen not to regulate the Mossberg Shockwave, despite its 14-inch shotgun barrel, Texas will follow suit, and not consider this item a short-barreled shotgun.

• HB 3784 Online LTC Course Option. Creates an optional online course for the Texas LTC. The shooting portion must be done with a DPS certified instructor.

• SB 1566 School Employees. Creates Texas Education Code § 37.0815 to prohibit school districts and charter schools from having employment rules that prohibit school employees who are LTC holders from keeping handguns, firearms, or ammunition, that is not in plain view, in a private, locked motor vehicle in a school owned parking area. This does not allow a school employee to exhibit a firearm to cause alarm or personal injury, or to violate TPC §§ 46.03 or 46.035. It is important to remember that this law applies only to school employees who are LTC holders. School employees who are not LTC holders continue to be subject to school employment rules under Texas Labor Code §52.062(a)(2)(B)&(C).

• SB 2065 Church Safety Teams. If you’re volunteer church security, and you’ve got an LTC, your carry rights have been expanded and clarified.

• HB 873 Off Duty Texas Peace Officers. Officers who are off duty have had their carry rights expanded.

• HB 1692 Primary and Secondary Teachers and School Parking Lot. This relates to the transportation and storage of a handgun or other firearm and ammunition by a license holder in a motor vehicle in a parking area of a primary or secondary school. This legislation protects the jobs of primary and secondary teachers with an LTC. This group was not previously covered by the employer parking lot bill from years ago.

• HB 1935 Legalizes Big Knives. Eliminates daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, spears, and Bowie knives from Texas law, allowing them to be carried in Texas in certain places.

• SB 138 LTC Range Qualifications and Veterans. Exempts certain military veterans and active-duty service members with military range qualifications from the state-required range portion of the LTC course.

• HB 913 Improvised Explosive Devices. Added improvised explosive devices to the list of prohibited weapons. This law defines IED as the completed and operational bomb, which means that the unassembled, non-military components, or explosive components used for target practice, for example, Tannerite, are still legal to possess.

To learn more, we invite Members and guests to attend special legislative update workshops presented by experienced attorneys as they discuss new laws regarding the carrying of firearms including changes to campus carry, the handgun licensing process and classes, and new laws regarding knives and explosive devices. To stay on the right side of the law, it is critical you stay current on all these changes. Don’t miss this opportunity. Click Gun Law Seminar to find events while seats are still available. The special seminars are labeled “Legislative Session Results in New Laws – Get the Update.”


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