Houston, Tx –-(Ammoland.com)- The 2013 session of the Texas Legislature began the 2nd Tuesday in January and crawls along as usual.
Last week the House finally announced committee assignments and bills will begin to be assigned to those committees for a public hearing. The various standing committees, both House and Senate, have a traditional jurisdiction over certain parts of Texas law; however, any bill could actually “land” in any committee.
Important Legislative Committee Assignments
Most gun bills filed in the Texas House are directed to the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety. The new chairman is Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) ,Vice-Chairman Rep. Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball) /
Committee members include:
- Rep. Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park)
- Rep. George Lavender (R-Texarkana)
- Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van)
- Rep. Tim Klei nschmidt (R-Lexington)
- Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R-Dallas)
- Rep. Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio)
In the Senate, gun-related legislation is most often directed to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice. As in past sessions, the chairman is State Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) ,the vice chairman is Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston)
Committee members include:
- Senator John Carona (R-Dallas)
- Senator Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen)
- Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston)
- Senator Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso)
- Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown
Committees members and chairmen are selected by either the Speaker of the House for a House committee or by the Lt. Governor in the Senate. House members and Senators request their committee assignments. However, often chairmen are selected by seniority, in addition to assignment requests, previous service, and personal background.
Today in the Texas Legislature
Hot topic bills for Texas gun-owners include:
- HB 47 by Rep. Flynn (R-Van) which after a committee substitute would lower the hours for the initial CHL course from 10 hours to “not less than 4 or more than 6, not to include time on the shooting range.” With the passage of HB 47, only 6 states out of 39 require more classroom hours than Texas.
- HB 508 by Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) provides a fine for the improper posting of the PC 30.06 sign at locations such as the entrance to the Fort Worth Zoo, on the parking lot of a school, the door to a city library,or other locations not listed as off-limits in statute and not private property.
- HB 698 by Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) would require that digital fingerprinting service be within 25 miles of the applicant. We have CHLs driving hundreds of miles to the closest L-1 printing franchise.
- HB 700 by Rep. George Lavender (R-Texarkana) a bill allowing a person with a Texas concealed handgun license to have the option of carrying concealed or openly holstered. Expect a committee substitute to create a sign for use by private property owners not wishing to restrict those carrying concealed.
- SB 182 by Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) allowing adult students, faculty, and staff with a concealed handgun license to carry into the buildings of colleges and universities. A #1 personal protection issue.
- SB 299 by Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) would clarify “unintentional display” of a handgun for those with a concealed handgun license.
This list above highlights only a few of the many pro-gun bills filed in Texas so far this session. Filing ends the first week in March.
More information can be found at http://www.legis.state.tx.us
Welcome to the hundreds of new TSRA members. Thank you for joining and keeping Texas strong.
Keep in mind that political action committee funds (PAC) need to be replenished before the next election cycle so we can help re-elect those who help us in the Texas Legislature. Go to www.tsra.com
Keep the faith,
Legislative DirectorSincerely, Alice Tripp Legislative Director Texas State Rifle Association
About:The Mission of the Texas State Rifle Association is to protect and defend the inalienable rights of the individual Texan to acquire, possess, transport, carry, transfer ownership and enjoy the right to lawful use of firearms for self preservation, for the defense of family and property and the common defense of the Republic and the individual liberties of the people. Visit: www.TSRA.com