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Charlie T Waite

Texas: House Finishes Up Action on More Pro-Gun Bills & Senate Committee Sets NRA-Backed Evacuation Carry Bill for Monday Hearing

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Late on Thursday, May 9, the House passed two additional NRA-backed bills by voice vote: House Bill 1143 by Rep. Cole Hefner which limits the authority of school districts to regulate the manner in which firearms and ammunition are stored in private motor vehicles parked on school property, including by school employees; and House Bill 1791 by Rep. Matt Krause which closes loopholes in the state's "wrongful exclusion" law that cities, counties and state agencies have been using to restrict License To Carry holders in government buildings.  These measures have not yet been referred to Senate committees.

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On Monday, May 13, the Senate State Affairs Committee will hear House Bill 1177 by Rep. Dade Phelan & Sen. Brandon Creighton.  This NRA-backed legislation protects citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a handgun without an LTC while evacuating from an area subject to a mandatory order issued during a declared state or local disaster, or while returning to that area.  Texans should be able to protect themselves and their loved ones, and to legally transport their lawfully-owned handguns, if they are evacuating by means other than their personal vehicles or their own watercraft during a mandatory evacuation order.  House Bill 1177 would offer temporary protection to honest Texans whose licenses are lost or damaged due to flood, wind or fire, and to those who don’t have a license because they never envisioned a need to transport or carry their handguns outside the home.  The proposed legislation is similar to a Florida law, which has been in effect since 2015.  

The Senate State Affairs Committee has not yet heard House Bill 3231 by Rep. Travis Clardy.  This key NRA-supported measure protects Texas gun owners and firearm retailers by modernizing the state’s existing firearms preemption statutes to ensure more uniform treatment of firearms and ammunition across the state.  It brings preemption provisions affecting counties into line with more extensive preemption language that currently applies to municipalities.  And it ensures enforcement of these protections by providing adequate legal remedies by private individuals adversely impacted when a municipality or county violates Texas' preemption laws. 

Please make plans to attend Monday's hearing on HB 1177 at 9:00am in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol.  Also, be sure to contact committee members and politely urge them to SUPPORT HB 1177 and to HEAR HB 3231.

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