Law Shield would like to advise our Texas members of activity the Texas Legislature has already taken in its 2015 session. For this update, we’ll concentrate on the five bills that have been read and referred to committee— Senate Bills 11, 258, 256, 257 and 259 — and what we think is worth supporting or opposing.
Law Shield Supports: Senate Bill 11
Authored by Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress), along with 10 others, Senate Bill 11 allows valid concealed handgun license (CHL) holders to carry a concealed handgun on college campuses. The bill gives permission to carry on all property of privately and publicly owned institutions of higher learning including dormitories and campus housing. The bill allows the college to put rules in place of storage for firearms in campus housing. However, it prevents any college from banning the legal carry of handguns.
Law Shield Opposes: Senate Bill 258
Authored by Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), Senate Bill 258 makes it a Class A misdemeanor to sell a firearm at a gun show without conducting a criminal background check. It forces each person who sells a firearm to maintain a record of every sale unless the sale of the firearm is to a police officer or CHL-holder. Further, Senate Bill 258 holds the gun show promoter criminally liable if anyone is found selling a firearm without performing a criminal background check. In Texas, dealers selling at gun shows must perform background checks on buyers before selling the firearm. However, private sales between individuals are not subject to the same law.
Law Shield Opposes: Senate Bill 256
Senate Bill 256 bans the ownership, selling, rental, loaning or gifting of magazines holding more than 20 rounds, with the offense of doing so being a Class A misdemeanor.
Law Shield Opposes: Senate Bill 257
Senate Bill 257 makes it a criminal offense for failing to report a lost or stolen firearm within 48 hours.
Law Shield Opposes: Senate Bill 259
Senate Bill 259 makes it an offense to transfer a firearm to any person without performing a background check.