85th Session of the Texas Legislature

Bills that passed listed with links to language

Sept. 1st 2017 Effective Date for new law

*SB16 by Senator Robert Nichols/Representative Phil King

In 1995 the Texas Legislature passed the concealed handgun license.  At that time the fee to the state for the CHL was put into statute at $140 for the initial license and $70 to renew.  The only discounts were allotted to seniors over 60 who were given a 50% discount and to indigents for the same 50% discount.

Over the years the Legislature created discounts for various groups such as judges, district attorneys, military, law enforcement and others but nothing for the average hardworking Texan.  In addition, the process of issuing the license has been streamline through technology.

Before passage of SB 16, the Texas LTC was the third most expensive license to carry in the country.  Now it is one of the least expensive.   The most any Texan will pay the state for the license is $40, which is essentially the “cost” to the state to produce the license.  Those who would have paid $140 will pay $40 and their renewal will also be $40.  It will be $40 for seniors for their first license instead of $70 but the renewal fee of $35 will stay the same.  A licensee might pay less than $40 but not more.

Texans are paying for 5 years of personal protection, $8 a year, $40.  Our license substitutes for a NICS check and provides reciprocity in 34 states.   While TSRA strongly supports unlicensed carry of a handgun, the Texas license has become comfortable and acceptable even to those who worked for decades to oppose.

Special thank you’s to Senator Robert Nichols the author of SB 16 , to Representative Phil King for HB300, Representative Dustin Burrows for HB339 and to Representative Kyle Kacal for HB1024; all filed to create support for SB 16.    The issue was Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s #1 priority for Texas gun owners.   September 1st effective date.

Governor signed (5/26/2017)

*Caliber Requirement for LTC Qualification

SB263 by Senator Perry/Representative Drew Springer    Since 1995 there has been a minimum caliber requirement in statute for the range proficiency portion of the Texas License to Carry class.  Range Proficiency requires the applicant shoot a 50-round course of fire.  SB263

Currently those seeking a license must test with a .32 caliber or higher handgun although there is 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 by Senator Perry removes the caliber requirement for the range proficiency exam to obtain a Texas License to Carry.  The bill takes effect September 1st.

Governor signed (6/9/2017)

*Volunteer First Responder

HB435 by Represenative Ken King/Senator Perry.  Relating to handgun laws as they apply to licensees who are volunteer first responders.

Bill analysis  

Governor signed (June 15, 2017)

*TSRA Suppressor Bill plus an Amendment

On Friday, May 19th, at 8:55 p.m. the Texas House passed HB 1819, authored by Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) with Senate sponsor, Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) plus an amendment by Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls).

HB1819 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) .  This means the purchaser of a suppressor would no longer be required to pay the suppressor dealer a deposit, fill out the form 4, transmit digital fingerprints, send BATFE $200, followed by waiting  as long as a year for their application to be processed, the “tax stamp” issued and the purchase finalized.  Again, we’re only talking about suppressors.  A device which simply muffles sound.

The US Congress, under our current administration, is expected to act and when the change occurs Texas law will be ready to accommodate the change.   This means law-abiding Texans wanting a suppressor for a firearm will show their LTC or submit to NICS as though they were purchasing a firearm.

But wait, there’s more!

It was brought to our attention by State Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass) and by TSRA members that the Mossberg 590 Shockwave could not be purchased in two states: Texas and Ohio.   There is a Mossberg manufacturing facility in Eagle Pass.

You see BATFE does not require this 14” barrel,  pistol grip “firearm” to be registered as an NFA device.  The Shockwave is not a shoulder-mount shotgun.

The Mossberg amendment was added in the Senate by Senator Craig Estes.  Thanks of course to Senator Charles Perry the Senate sponsor for HB 1819.

HB1819 has now been signed by Governor Abbott and takes effect September 1st.  We may have a wait to purchase a suppressor but we can purchase the Mossberg 590 Shockwave as soon as Sept. 1s.

HB1819 Bill History with Co-Author’s List

Governor Signed (5/26/2017)

*Online LTC Course Option

HB3784 by Representative Justin Holland (R-Rockwall and Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano)

Creates an optional online course for the Texas LTC.  The shooting portion plus one hour of class time must be administered with a DPS certified instructor.  Governor signed (6/15/2017)

*Church Volunteer Security

The language of HB421 by Representative Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving)  Relating to the exemption from the application of the Private Security Act of certain persons who provide security services on a volunteer basis at a place of religious worship.

Note: The original bill didn’t get far enough in the process to pass on its own but was successfully amended  to SB2065 by Senator Kelly Hancock (R-N. Richland Hills) Find the amendment on page 51 of the bill  Click on the link above for SB2065 and go to page 51 on the host bill to find the amended language.  Governor signed (6/15/2017)

*Primary and Secondary Teacher Parking Lot

The language of HB1692 by Representative Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) Relating 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 hard-working primary and secondary teachers with a LTC.  This group was not previously covered by the employer parking lot bill from years ago.

Note: Neither the House Bill nor the Senate, carried by Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), completed the process but in the last days of session Representative Hefner amended his language to SB1566 by Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) (Read the amendment on page 11).  Click on the link to SB1566 above and go to page 11 of the bill to find the amendment.  Effective date Sept. 1st   Governor signed  (6/15/2017)

*Legalize the Bowie Knife

HB1935 by Representative John Frullo/Senator John Whitmire eliminates daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, spears, and Bowie knives from Texas law, allowing them to be carried in Texas. Effective date Sept. 1st.  Governor signed (6/15/2017) 

*Exempts Military

SB138 by Senator Van Taylor/Representative Morgan Meyer to exempt certain military veterans and active duty service members with military range qualifications from the state required range portion of the LTC course.  SB138 passed as an amendment to HB3784

The 84th Session of the Texas Legislature gavels into session on the 2nd Tuesday in January 2015

The date for the governor and lieutenant governor’s inauguration is the 3rd Tuesday of that month.

As bills are filed and bill authors are confirmed, TSRA will post the developing information to aid our members with bill tracking.

Pro-Gun Bills Passed Into Law during the 2013 session include the following:

  • SB864:by Sen.Donna Campbell/Rep. Dan Flynn reduced the number of classroom hours for the initial concealed handgun license.
  • HB47: by Rep. Dan Flynn allows CHL renewal to be done online without a renewal course.
  • HB333: by Rep. Guillen/Sen. Hinojosa require a hotel with a no firearms policy to alert perspective customers during the reservation process.
  • HB698: by Rep. Springer/Sen. Estes requires that fingerprinting for a CHL be available in counties of a certain size.
  • SB1907: by Sen. Hegar/Rep. Kleinschmidt allows college students with a concealed handgun license to store their handgun in their personal locked vehicle on college property without sanctions.
  • HB1421: by Rep. C.Perry/Sen. Estes relating to the disposition of certain seized firearms by law enforcement agencies.
  • HB3142: by Rep. Bell/Sen. Estes relating to the type of firearm used to demonstration proficiency to obtain a CHL.
  • SB299: by Sen. Estes/Rep. Sheets deals with the unintentional display of a handgun by a CHL.

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