Thursday, April 8, is shaping up to be a busy day in Austin on legislation affecting your Second Amendment rights!
At 10:30 a.m., (or upon final adjournment of the House floor session) in room E2.030 of the Capitol Extension, the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety will hold public hearings on the following legislation:
* House Bill 118, by Rep. Lina Ortega (D-El Paso) bans the private transfer of firearms between certain family members, friends and fellow gun owners and requires such transactions to be conducted through a licensed gun dealer — which includes extensive federal paperwork, government approval and payment of an undetermined fee. This so-called “universal background check” scheme will not impact crime and is unenforceable without a gun registry. This is the state version of HR 8, being pushed by Pelosi and national gun control advocates.
* House Bill 791, by Rep. Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin), amends the disorderly conduct statute to create the offense of displaying a firearm while attending or within 500 feet of a public demonstration, which includes both solo picketers and marches, which would create roving gun-free zones. It is already an offense under the same statute to display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.
* House Bill 880, by Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin), so-called “Lie & Try” legislation requires licensed dealers to notify DPS when a NICS check indicates a firearm transaction may not proceed. DPS is required to investigate and possibly refer the case to local law enforcement authorities. The NICS system can incorrectly flag a person who is not prohibited, causing state and local investigations to be opened regarding a person who is not actually prohibited, who is appealing denial of a sale, or who is already being further investigated. This bill is poorly-worded and unnecessary.
* House Bill 2112 & House Bill 3628, by Reps. Will Metcalf (R- Conroe) & Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), eliminate the requirement that a holster for an openly-carried handgun by a License To Carry holder be a belt or shoulder holster. This change will allow LTCs who carry openly to choose the type of holster that best suits their personal situation and self-defense needs.
* House Bill 2169, by Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney), removes the prohibition on persons who are determined to be delinquent in payment of state or local taxes from applying for or maintaining a License To Carry (LTC). Someone suffering financial hardship, especially in the middle of a pandemic or other disaster or emergency, should not be precluded from being able to protect themselves in a lawful manner.
Please contact members of the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety and encourage them to OPPOSE or SUPPORT the bills as indicated above.
You may also contact members of the Texas House of Representatives : House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety individually. (Do not contact the committee clerk; click on the individual committee members images for a link to their office homepage.)
If you wish to testify for or against any of these bills, information on in-person witness registration, can be found here. You do not need a COVID test to enter the Capitol or to attend House committee hearings, but you will be asked to wear a mask in the committee room except when testifying.
Information on parking at the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage can be found here.
Texas residents who wish to electronically submit comments related to agenda items on this notice without testifying in person can do so until the hearing is adjourned, by visiting here.