Legislative Update: Important Changes to Texas Self-Defense Laws

Following the Regular 2019 Texas legislative session, well over a dozen bills dealing with gun rights were signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. This quick read will show you what has changed and keep you on the right side of the law.

All of these laws go into effect on September 1, 2019.

House Bills

House Bill 1 appropriates money to DPS to run ad campaigns on safe storage of firearms; $500,000/year for 2020 & 2021. Does not constitute a change in the gun storage law.

House Bill 121 creates new defense to prosecution under 30.06 and 30.07 if license holder promptly departs after verbal notice.

House Bill 302 Landlords cannot prohibit a tenant or guest of a tenant from lawfully possessing a firearm in rented space (only affects future lease agreements). Also applies to parking structure or lot. Also provides defense to prosecution, even for old leases.

House Bill 446 removes knuckles from prohibited weapons list. Removes the restrictions on carrying a club or knuckles generally in public. Clubs still prohibited in locations listed 46.03.

House Bill 1078 Certain applicants who hold a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification have fees waived when applying for an LTC or driver’s license. CPR certification must not be a condition of employment or an occupational license.

House Bill 1143 beefs up the school parking lot bill passed in 2017. Schools may not impose extra rules on how CONCEALED firearms or ammunition are stored by an LTC holder in locked, private motor vehicles parked in school parking areas.

House Bill 1177 allows for the unlicensed carrying of a handgun while evacuating by individuals not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms following a natural disaster. Applies during order of mandatory evacuation or reentering area after evacuation so long as not more than 168 hours have elapsed.

House Bill 1552 reduces qualifications for retired LEO status. Qualified retired law enforcement officer status occurs after 10 years of cumulative service, down from 15 years.

House Bill 1791 closes the “wrongful exclusion” by verbal notice loophole under 411.209. A state agency or political subdivision cannot prohibit an LTC holder from entering or remaining on a premises owned or leased by a government entity (except in statutory locations).

House Bill 2137 exempts qualifying honorably retired peace officers from having to meet classroom and proficiency portions of LTC requirement. Waives fees for qualified retired LEOs.

House Bill 2363 Health and Human Services Commission may not prohibit possession of lawfully permitted firearms and ammunition in agency foster homes. The new law enhances this protection by providing that firearms and ammunition do not have to be stored separately if they are locked and secured.

House Bill 3231 strengthens the state’s preemption statute. Enhances the state’s firearm and knife law preemption statute by adding a provision that prevents local governments from restricting firearms and knife sales through the use of zoning and other local ordinances. Clarifies and strengthens the statute by adding “possession, wearing, carrying” and “storage” of firearms and knives to the preemption statute.

Senate Bills

Senate Bill 317 allows the taking of any feral hog on a landowner’s property or with permission of a landowner without a hunting license. Allows for pretty much unrestrained extermination of wild hogs. Still must follow all other firearm and discharge laws.

Senate Bill 535 removes places of religious worship from list of places under Penal Code 46.035. Notice pursuant to 30.06 and 30.07 is still effective.

Senate Bill 741 prohibits property owners’ associations from placing or enforcing deed restrictions on the possession, transportation, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

Senate Bill 772 evidence of a property owner’s failure to forbid handguns is inadmissible in certain civil lawsuits. State law did not previously provide adequate civil liability protection to a business that did not post 30.06/30.07 signs.

Remember, in the eyes of law enforcement, there is no excuse for not knowing Texas’ new laws.

Click here to download our convenient guide that breaks down all 16 of these important Texas legislative updates

For any questions regarding changes and updates to Texas gun law, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney or click here to submit your questions online. 

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