One of the most productive legislative sessions for gun owners in recent memory wrapped up over the weekend, with lawmakers in Austin, Texas adjourning after passing a number of pro-2A bills that will not only help to secure the right to keep and bear arms in the Lone Star State, but provide a blueprint for other red states to do the same in the months ahead.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we’re taking a closer look at some of the bills approved by lawmakers, which includes Constitutional Carry, Second Amendment Sanctuary legislation, and several other measures that didn’t receive as many headlines but will still end up strengthening 2A rights for Texans and those visiting the state.
As NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action highlighted, two Senate bills received their final votes of approval on the last weekend of the legislative session and are now headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature.
Senate Bill 19, by Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), discourages banks, payment processors, insurers, and other financial services providers from discriminating against members of the firearm and ammunition industries. The legislation prohibits businesses that engage in this practice from contracting with governmental entities in the Lone Star State. Taxpayer dollars should not be used to benefit the bottom-line of corporations that are actively working to erode the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Texans.
This is a great bill, and I’d love to see other Republican-controlled states follow suit, which would put even more pressure on these giant financial institutions to rethink their anti-gun policies. If these banks want to discriminate against companies in the firearms industry, they should be aware of the consequences of their anti-gun attitudes. Denying these banks access to bids on government-issued bonds has the potential to hurt their bottom line, but the more states that join Texas, the more impact legislation like this will have.
Senate Bill 20, by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), protects the ability of hotel guests to store lawfully-possessed firearms and ammunition in their rooms, and to transport them directly en route between their vehicles and their rooms. Hotels frequently fail to include information on their websites, or in reservation notices, to inform guests about restrictive firearms policies. This forces gun owners, upon arrival, to consider leaving their firearms in their cars or trucks and make them susceptible to theft, in order to comply with policies they knew nothing of in advance.
This is another strong bill that both preserves the property rights of hotel owners to ban the carrying of firearms on their premise while recognizing both the property rights and Second Amendment rights of gun owners. As NRA-ILA points out, this bill will allow gun owners to better secure their firearms, and even if you don’t like the idea of people owning guns to begin with, you should at least want them to be able to keep an eye on their firearms rather than leaving them in their car where they’re more likely to be stolen.
In addition to the Senate bills approved in the waning hours of the legislative session, lawmakers have also sent Gov. Abbott several other good pieces of legislation that will hopefully become law, including:
HB 918 – allows individuals who are at least 18 years old to get a handgun carry license if they are under a court-issued protective order. The state’s concealed carry laws and the new Constitutional Carry legislation doesn’t apply to those under the age of 21, but if Abbott signs the bill, then 18, 19, and 20-year olds who have taken out an order of protection would be able to obtain a carry license so that they can protect themselves from their potential attacker.
HB 1387 – tweaks regulations for foster parents in the state, allowing them to store firearms and ammunition in the same locked location. Current law requires that foster parents keep their firearms and ammunition locked up separately, which poses an obvious problem for those who need to use a gun in self-defense.
All in all, it was a great session for gun owners, and hopefully Gov. Abbott turns all of these good bills into good laws with the stroke of his pen. Let’s also hope that lawmakers in other 2A-friendly states like Georgia, Florida, Indiana, and Ohio are paying attention and follow Texas’ lead. Our right to keep and bear arms is under tremendous threat at the federal level, and these state-level protections are a fantastic way to push back on those threats and send a message to D.C. that any attempt to restrict the right to keep and bear arms isn’t going to be blindly accepted by tens of millions of gun owners and dozens of states across the country.