We’ve reported on new laws regarding weapons and their legal use that went into effect recently here, here, here, and here. But in case you missed them, here they are again, bullet-point style:
• SB 16: LTC Fee Reduction Legislation. Concealed-handgun license fees drop from $140 to $40, and their renewal will also be $40. The cost will be $40 for seniors for their first license instead of $70, and a senior renewal will remain $35. $40 is the most any Texan will pay the state for the License to Carry.
• SB 263: Caliber Requirement for LTC Qualification. Since 1995 there has been a minimum-caliber requirement in the statute for the range proficiency portion of the Texas License to Carry class. Formerly, those seeking a license had to test with a .32 caliber or higher handgun, although there was 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 removes the caliber requirement for the range proficiency exam to obtain a Texas License to Carry.
• HB 435 Volunteer Emergency Service Personnel. Volunteer Emergency Service Personnel (VESP), which includes volunteer firefighters, volunteer emergency medical services, or any individual who provides services for the general public during emergency situations, have expanded carry rights.
• HB 1819 Suppressor Bill. HB 1819 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). The U.S. Congress is expected to pass the Hearing Protection Act, and when the change occurs, Texas law will be ready to accommodate the change. Also, this bill clarifies the murky issues surrounding the Mossberg 590 Shockwave. It amends Texas Penal Code 4605 to state that those weapons not subject to ATF registration, are not prohibited weapons under Texas law. This means that since the ATF has chosen not to regulate the Mossberg Shockwave, despite its 14-inch shotgun barrel, Texas will follow suit, and not consider this item a short-barreled shotgun.
• HB 3784 Online LTC Course Option. Creates an optional online course for the Texas LTC. The shooting portion must be done with a DPS certified instructor.
• SB 1566 School Employees. Creates Texas Education Code § 37.0815 to prohibit school districts and charter schools from having employment rules that prohibit school employees who are LTC holders from keeping handguns, firearms, or ammunition, that is not in plain view, in a private, locked motor vehicle in a school owned parking area. This does not allow a school employee to exhibit a firearm to cause alarm or personal injury, or to violate TPC §§ 46.03 or 46.035. It is important to remember that this law applies only to school employees who are LTC holders. School employees who are not LTC holders continue to be subject to school employment rules under Texas Labor Code §52.062(a)(2)(B)&(C).
• SB 2065 Church Safety Teams. If you’re volunteer church security, and you’ve got an LTC, your carry rights have been expanded and clarified.
• HB 873 Off Duty Texas Peace Officers. Officers who are off duty have had their carry rights expanded.
• HB 1692 Primary and Secondary Teachers and School Parking Lot. This relates 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 primary and secondary teachers with an LTC. This group was not previously covered by the employer parking lot bill from years ago.
• HB 1935 Legalizes Big Knives. Eliminates daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, spears, and Bowie knives from Texas law, allowing them to be carried in Texas in certain places.
• SB 138 LTC Range Qualifications and Veterans. Exempts certain military veterans and active-duty service members with military range qualifications from the state-required range portion of the LTC course.
• HB 913 Improvised Explosive Devices. Added improvised explosive devices to the list of prohibited weapons. This law defines IED as the completed and operational bomb, which means that the unassembled, non-military components, or explosive components used for target practice, for example, Tannerite, are still legal to possess.
To learn more, we invite Members and guests to attend special legislative update workshops presented by experienced attorneys as they discuss new laws regarding the carrying of firearms including changes to campus carry, the handgun licensing process and classes, and new laws regarding knives and explosive devices. To stay on the right side of the law, it is critical you stay current on all these changes. Don’t miss this opportunity. Click Gun Law Seminar to find events while seats are still available. The special seminars are labeled “Legislative Session Results in New Laws – Get the Update.”
The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.
I have my CHL to carry if I go to a public park to watch my grandkids play ball can I Carry my concealed handgun? Does Texas lawshield protect me if I have to use pepper spray to defend myself if someone tries to assault me will I have legal protection?
Hi Danny. Thanks for your question! Please see the below response from one of our Independent Program Attorneys here in Texas.
“Yes, if you have an LTC then you can carry a handgun either openly in a belt or shoulder holster or concealed in a park owned by a city, county, or the state. However, you cannot carry in a park owned by a school if you are attending a school-sponsored sporting event or other school-sponsored activity. Yes, your Texas LawShield membership covers the self-defense use of all legal weapons, this includes pepper spray.”
Would like an updated book or PDF file with the does and don’ts of other states such as which states I can travel with my weapon on my person and which states I will need to place it in a gun box.
Hi Aldine. For specific information, please call Member Services at (877)448-6839 and they will connect you with an attorney who will further assist you with your questions.
• SB 138 LTC Range Qualifications and Veterans
What is meant by certain veterans? Can i get more information about this new law please.
Hi Paul. Thanks for your question! Please see the below response from one of our Independent Program Attorneys here in Texas.
“SB 138 amended Texas Government Code 411.1881(a) to state:
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a person may not be required to complete the range instruction portion of a handgun proficiency course to obtain a license issued under this subchapter if the person: (1) is currently serving in or is honorably discharged from: (A) the army, navy, air force, coast guard, or marine corps of the United States or an auxiliary service or reserve unit of one of those branches of the armed forces; or (B) the Texas military forces, as defined by Section 437.001; and (2) has, within the 10 years preceding the date of the person ’s application for the license, completed as part of the person ’s service with the armed forces or Texas military forces: (A) a course of training in firearm proficiency or familiarization; or (B) a range qualification process for firearm usage.
This means that if someone has proof of a completed firearms training course with any branch of the U.S. Military or auxiliary or reserves, or has had military training with the Texas military within 10 years of filing their LTC application then they don’t have to complete the shooting test required for their proficiency certificate.”
I sent in my money because there was no place to amend it from $70-$40 after the first of the year on your form. If there is a way I can get a refund I would appreciate it. I’m 60 almost 61
Hi Dana. Unfortunately, this is not something we are able to assist you with. You will need to check with licensing division of the DPS in order to solve this matter.
What is the specific language in SB138? Publishing the details would be a valuable service to all of us retired military members.
“Church security” and why I left the teller team. There was never a prohibition against concealed carry at my church before. Unfortunately My church has decided to remove the self defense option from whomever gets in the way of a donation robbery or attack upon the church. There is no church security team and not likely to be one because they have no interest in self defense rights or there is some new policy handed down against firearms.
I was on the teller team until the 30.06 and 30.07 signs went up at every entrance and I could no longer keep a handgun concealed in my backpack for my protection while helping to count the day’s cash donations.
The money is counted, and then after all the services of the day are completed, the several thousand dollars to be deposited is given to a contracted off duty police officer who serves as security during services. This is a 5.5 hour commitment for the teller team.
Unfortunately the officer can not be in the unsecured office where the money is handled, in the parking lot, and in the vestibule at the church service itself, all at the same time. There is only one locked door between the impending criminal and the money counting room of the office, and people who have no key go in and out and often fail to lock the door upon their exit because they are lazy or want to go back in but don’t want to knock and wait. They do know better. So it’s really too bad their decision was made.
I do not consider myself a bad worshiper/believer or in anyway selfish or ‘disobedient’ because I try to avoid the chance of being murdered (martyred?) over worthless money. I had no problem giving the fact based reason in a professional manner for resignation from the teller team and I did not dispute the signage/prohibition or ask for it to be removed. There was an objection to the reasoning and I asked the question: “Are you willing to die for a pile of paper, without even a chance to live, because a violent armed robber isn’t content to leave eye witnesses behind?” No one said they were willing to die for the money.
I still happily and faithfully attend the church I love and worship the God I love. The same God gives wisdom to any who sincerely ask for it.