Updated: May 27, 2021
After nearly a decade of struggle, Constitutional Carry is on its way to being signed into law in the Lone Star State. On May 22, 2021, the conference committee report on HB 1927 was distributed and on May 24 both chambers voted in favor of it. The bill should be signed in the next few days by Governor Greg Abbott, marking a huge milestone for Second Amendment proponents in Texas.
Overall, Constitutional Carry allows Texans ages 21 and up to carry a handgun without obtaining a license — whether its concealed or open — in public venues where Texans are not prohibited from carrying. Texans can still acquire a license to carry for reciprocity purposes should they decide to travel to states that recognize Texas LTCs.
So far, many gun owners have inquired about the type of amendments added to HB 1927. Lone Star Gun Rights went through HB 1927 to analyze the amendments added to it.
One amendment that stuck out dealt with when peace officers can disarm a person:
SECTION 3. Article 14.03, Code of Criminal Procedure, is 7 amended by adding Subsection (h) to read as follows:
8 (h) (1) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer's official duties may disarm a person at any time the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the person, officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall return the handgun to the person before discharging the person from the scene if the officer determines that the person is not a threat to the officer, person, or another individual and if the person has not committed a violation that results in the arrest of the person.
Another amended section details the circumstances where licenses can be revoked:
SECTION 7. Sections 411.186(a), (c), and (d), Government Code, are amended to read as follows:
(a) The department shall revoke a license under this section if the license holder:
(1) was not entitled to the license at the time it was issued;
(2) made a material misrepresentation or failed to disclose a material fact in an application submitted under this subchapter;
(3) Subsequently becomes ineligible for a license under Section 411.172, unless the sole basis for the ineligibility is that the license holder is charged with the commission of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense, or of an offense under Section 42.01, Penal Code, or equivalent offense, or of a felony under an information or indictment;
One amendment lays out how state agencies are also restricted in their ability to regulate licensed carry:
Except as provided by Subsection (i), a state agency or a political subdivision of the state may not take any action, including an action consisting of the provision of notice by a communication described by Section 30.06 or 30.07, Penal Code, that states or implies that a license holder who is carrying a handgun under the authority of this subchapter is prohibited from entering or remaining on a premises or other place owned or leased by the governmental entity unless license holders are prohibited from carrying a handgun on the premises or other place by Section 46.03 [or 46.035], Penal Code, or other law.
Foster parents also have their right to carry protected:
SECTION 14. Section 42.042(e-2), Human Resources Code, is amended to read as follows: (e-2) The department may not prohibit the foster parent of a child who resides in the foster family’s home from transporting the child in a vehicle where a handgun is present if the handgun is in the possession and control of the foster parent and the foster parent is not otherwise prohibited by law from carrying a handgun.
Another amendment was made detailing business’s ability to regulate carry rights:
SECTION 15. Section 52.062(b), Labor Code, is amended to read as follows: (b) Section 52.061 does not prohibit an employer from prohibiting an employee who holds a license to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, or who otherwise lawfully possesses a firearm, from possessing a firearm the employee is otherwise authorized by law to possess on the premises of the employer ’s business. In this subsection, "premises" has the meaning assigned by Section 46.03 [46.035(f)(3)], Penal Code.
Broadly speaking, individuals who have received a number of misdemeanor convictions in the past five years will not be allowed to carry a handgun outside of their property or vehicle. The misdemeanors in question are assault causing bodily injury, deadly conduct, disorderly conduct with a firearm, and terroristic threat. Section 22 of the Conference Committee Report goes into these exceptions into further detail.
Some of the prohibited places in the bill are:
Airports past security
Amusement parks that are over 75 acres, located in large counties, and are open at least 120 days a year
Bars, especially establishments that generate 51% or more of their income from the sale or service of alcoholic drinks that are consumed on the premises
Civil commitment facilities
Courts or offices that courts use
Open meeting run by government institutions in the case a notice is provided
Schools which includes all levels (K-12 to University), school activities, and school buses
Sporting events at academic venues (high school and college) and professional leagues
Other circumstances where Constitutional Carry is banned:
Carrying while intoxicated will be banned. The only exceptions will be on an individual’s property, in their vehicle, or on / in another person’s property or vehicle provided that they have their consent.
Campus carry is still banned for Constitutional Carry. LTC holders can only carry handguns at educational institutions which are still subject to stiff regulations.
LTC holders can carry handguns on Lower Colorado River Authority property but permitless carry is prohibited.
Private businesses are allowed to ban unlicensed carry by providing notice in accordance with Penal Code Chapter 30.05. This notice can come in the form of a sign with specific wording that shares something similar to a 30.06 or 30.07 sign. Similarly, It can be another sign or notice that says entry with a handgun is banned. The maximum penalty is the same as the penalty for carrying past a 30.06 or 30.07 sign, which is a maximum class C misdemeanor and $200 fine if you leave upon being told to leave.
Carrying on federal property is banned and state law has no impact on federal property.
HB 1927 would increase the penalties for illegally possessing firearms for the following types of offenses:
Individuals with felony convictions will receive a 2nd degree felony that carries a 5-year sentence. There is an exception for individuals who can possess a firearm inside their homes starting five years following their final release from community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.
Individuals convicted with a Class A misdemeanor for family violence will see their conviction enhanced to a 3rd-degree felony.
Individuals subject to family violence protective orders, magistrate's orders for emergency protection, marriage dissolution suit protective orders, or out-of-state family violence protective orders will see their Class A misdemeanors enhanced to a 3rd-degree felony.
In sum, carrying a firearm into a prohibited place can result in a person committing a Class A misdemeanor or 3rd-degree felony. Originally, the House version of 1927 featured an exception to the penalty (“Savings Clause”). Simply put, this clause said that if an individual carried a handgun into any of the aforementioned places but left immediately as they were given notice, they would not receive a criminal penalty. However, the Senate insisted on getting rid of the Savings Clause, which the grassroots wanted to maintain. That said, HB 1927 does include language containing a defense to prosecution clause if an individual carries into the aforementioned prohibited places when no signage was posted that informs individuals that carrying was banned.
(m) It is a defense to prosecution under Section 46.03 that the actor: (1) carries a handgun on a premises or other property on which the carrying of a weapon is prohibited under that section; (2) personally received from the owner of the property, or from another person with apparent authority to act for the owner, notice that carrying a firearm or other weapon on the premises or other property, as applicable, was prohibited; and (3) promptly departed from the premises or other property. (n) The defense provided by Subsection (m) does not apply if: ( 1) a sign described by Subsection ( o) was posted prominently at each entrance to the premises or other property, as applicable; or (2) at the time of the offense, the actor knew that carrying a firearm or other weapon on the premises or other property was prohibited.
As for protections, the House originally offered an expungement of records for individuals who had previously received convictions of illegal carry of a handgun. The Senate changed the language but maintained the expungement for any individuals convicted of a crime committed prior to September 1, 2021 of a handgun as detailed by Penal Code 46.02(a).
Last but certainly least, HB 1927 will have DPS create and publish on its website a free course on how to properly handle firearms and use them in a safe manner.
All in all, Texas gun owners should be ecstatic about the passage of Constitutional Carry in the Lone Star State. Their relentless efforts over the course of the decade have finally paid off. However, the fight to restore gun rights is far from over.
Lone Star Gun Rights will continue fighting to make Texas a true sanctuary for the Second Amendment. That means we will be pushing to nullify unconstitutional federal laws and repeal bad state regulations. To do that, we will need all the help we can get.
Help us make Texas a Second Amendment bastion by making a generous contribution $500, $250, $100, $50, or $25 at the link below:
Enjoy reading our articles on the latest Second Amendment news? Consider investing in Lone Star Gun Rights to give us the resources to continue providing important updates. The 2021 Legislative Session has just started! We have already been meeting with legislators and their staff to promote pro-2A bills. Your investment in us helps us get results for you.
Donate to LSGR - https://www.lsgr.live/donate
Become an LSGR Member - https://www.lsgr.live/join
Sign Our Petition - https://www.lsgr.live/petition