The 86th Texas Legislature is off to a fast start with already more bills being introduced earlier than normally. Thus far there have not been many bills related to shotguns or shooting sports that have a major potential impact. Although, there are a few interesting bills that you may want to watch.

Texas Deer Association is keeping a close eye on HB376 and HB661, both Chronic Waste Disease (CWD) related. HB376 would require TPWD to allow movement of deer once all CWD suspect tests are cleared. HB661 would allow for re- lease of deer on low-fence properties. TPWD would be able to set a testing standard prior to any low-fence release of deer. Another bill addresses the reclassification of Elk to be con- sidered a native game species to Texas which would put them under the jurisdiction of TPWD.

Texas State Rifle Association also has several bills they are watching closely. Some have come about since Hurricane Harvey when so many citizens were displaced from their homes and needed to transport and relocate their personal firearms. Lawfully owned handguns being carried while evac- uating from areas under mandatory order should not be taken from these citizens if they do not possess an LTC. SB506 and HB1177 are the two bills addressing this issue.

Other bills you may want to keep an eye on are bills that affect the outdoor community.

HB547: addresses the verification of hunting and fishing license information

SB457: addresses the exemption from sales and use taxes for firearms and hunting supplies for a limited period

HB854: addresses the prosecution of the offense of making a firearm accessible to a child

HB972: addresses repealing the authority of a county to regulate hunting with bows and arrows in certain subdivisions

HB687 and SB230: address a landowner’s liability for injuries incurred during certain recreational activities

If you are interested in following these bills and/or many other bills, go to legiscan.com and enter Texas in the bottom left hand corner and type the bill number or a keyword (ie- hunting) and you will see a list of related bills. If you have questions about the entire legislative process or want to learn more, go to the Legislative Reference Library of Texas or lrl.texas.gov/geninfo/faq.cfm.

As a gun owner it is very important that you are informed of the various bills affecting gun laws so that you can make educated decisions at the polls.

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.