The 86th Legislature Regular Session started out to be a somewhat quiet session without many major controversial bills in the way of firearms, hunting and conservation, but don’t let that fool you, it has been anything but slow. Governor Abbott has signed a number of firearm bills that will take effect on September 1st.

New Laws Will Take Effect on September 1

House Bill 121 by Rep. Swanson (R-Spring) & Sen. Creighton (R-Conroe) provides a legal defense for License to Carry holders who unknowingly enter establishments with 30.06 or 30.07 signs, as long they promptly leave when verbally informed of the policy.  

House Bill 1143 by Rep. Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) & Sen. Hughes (R-Mineola) prevents school districts from effectively prohibiting the possession of firearms in private motor vehicles by limiting their authority to regulate the manner in which they are stored in locked cars and trucks — including by employees.

House Bill 1177 by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) & Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) protects citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a handgun without a License to Carry while evacuating from an area during a declared state or local disaster, or while returning to that area, and allows shelters which are otherwise prohibited locations to decide whether to accommodate evacuees with firearms in their possession. 

Senate Bill 535 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) & Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) strikes “churches, synagogues, or other places of worship” from the list of prohibited locations in the Penal Code, clarifying that these places have the same right enjoyed by nearly all other controllers of private property in the state to decide whether to allow License to Carry holders on their premises. 

Senate Bill 741 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) & Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) prohibits a property owners’ association from including or enforcing a provision in a dedicatory instrument that prohibits, restricts, or has the effect of prohibiting or restricting any person who is otherwise authorized from lawfully possessing, transporting, or storing a firearm.  

Statewide Safe Gun Storage Campaign. (Department of Public Safety) $500,000 in fiscal year 2020 and $500,000 in fiscal year 2021 in General Revenue to establish and promote a statewide safe gun storage campaign. The public awareness campaign shall begin no later than September 1, 2020. The public awareness campaign may include online materials, printed materials, public service announcements, or other advertising media. The public awareness campaign may not convey a message that it is unlawful under state law to keep or store a firearm that is loaded or that is readily accessible for self-defense.

Other bills to review: 

House Bill 302 by Rep. Paul (R-Houston) & Sen. Hughes (R-Mineola)

House Bill 1791 by Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) & Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper)

House Bill 2363 by Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) & Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)

House Bill 3231 by Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) & Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper)

Senate Bill 772 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) & Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster)

If you are interested in seeing these bills in greater detail you can follow this site, Legiscan: https://legiscan.com/TX/legislation/2019 . Type in on the left-hand side, Texas or the state you wish to search, and you will receive a list of all bills presented. Add hunting to the search line and this will narrow it down. If you have questions about the whole process go to Legislative Reference Library of Texas or http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/genInfo/FAQ.cfm. Here you can find many simple as well as complex questions already answered for you.

NOTE: Texas Dove Hunters Association does not take a position in favor or against any of the bills listed above.

This article is for informational purposes only.