Texas lawmakers want to prevent a repeat of what happened at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The Second Amendment rights were relegated to second-class rights as anti-gun authorities, even in Texas, shut down gun businesses.
When the Department of Homeland Security designated gunmakers and retailers as essential businesses, authorities in Austin, Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant, Harris, and Travis counties circumvented those directives.
Their actions forced the intervention of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott, who directed local authorities to reopen firearm businesses.
The situation proved that without an established legal framework, Texans’ Second Amendment rights were at risk. Relying on individual officials to issue such orders could be disappointing if they lacked the political will or courage to make the declaration.
Two state legislators introduced two pro-2A bills that would protect firearm businesses from anti-gun authorities during emergencies. The bills received the endorsement of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) filed House Bill 2249, designating firearms and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, suppliers, and retailers as essential businesses during emergencies. This legislation bars state and local officials from shutting down gun-related establishments during emergencies.
"Our Second Amendment rights do not diminish in importance because of a declared disaster,” state Representative Hefner said. “This bill will ensure that we protect Texans and their ability to exercise their constitutional rights without disruption."
Similarly, Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) filed Senate Bill 18 to protect the gun industry from unwarranted closures during emergencies.
“Law-abiding Texans respect the Second Amendment and the freedoms it guarantees—this bill prevents any future infringements, ensuring that guns and ammunition will never be limited during [a] disaster, further cementing that Texas is the freest and safest state in the nation,” state Senator Creighton noted.
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