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New Gun Laws Go Effective September 1

By Peek & Toland on October 28, 2019

As of September 1, 2019, several new or updated gun laws have gone into effect in the state of Texas. First, property owners associations cannot prohibit or restrict the possession, transportation, or storage of firearms or ammunition. They also may not place restrictions on the discharge of firearms. Likewise, school districts may not regulate how licensed handgun owners store their handguns, firearms, or ammunition in their vehicles while parked on school property. Residential lease agreements also cannot restrict the possession of firearms by tenants or their guests.

The Texas Legislature also established a defense for licensed handgun owners who unwittingly enter businesses or places that prohibit guns by positing signs. This defense is available to these individuals so long as they promptly leave the premises when requested to do so.

New Gun Laws Go Effective September 1

Under a new law, it is not illegal for citizens without licenses to carry to possess handguns while evacuating from or returning to declared state or local disaster areas. Disaster shelters also may accommodate evacuees who have firearms.

Carrying firearms is no longer prohibited in churches, synagogues, or other places of religious worship. These entities can determine whether they wish to permit firearms on their premises, just as private property owners can.

Other updated or new provisions in the law concerning firearms concern the ability of foster parents to store guns and ammunition in the same locked locations in their homes and the number of armed school marshals a school district or open-enrollment charter school may appoint. The legislation also updated language in the Government Code concerning the carrying of firearms on property owned or leased by a government entity.

Aside from these changes and additions, gun laws remain relatively lenient in the State of Texas. Gun owners are not required to obtain licenses or register their firearms, although they are required to obtain concealed carry permits. There also are no laws on the books in the state that restrict assault weapons or large-capacity magazines. However, individuals must be at least 18 to purchase rifles.

The Peek & Toland criminal defense lawyers are here to represent your interests and advise you of the best course of action in your criminal case. Set up an appointment to talk to us today and discover how we can assist you with your criminal charges.

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New Pro Gun Laws Went into Effect in Texas

By Peek & Toland on February 14, 2018

Texas has a deserved reputation for being a gun friendly state. Last September, a raft of new pro gun laws went into effect.

On its website, the National Rifle Association (NRA) noted some of these measures.

A number of key pro-Second Amendment laws took effect on September 1, 2017. They include:

Senate Bill 263 repealing the minimum caliber requirement (.32) for demonstrating handgun proficiency during the portion of the License To Carry course that takes place on the range.

Senate Bill 16. The legislation cuts the cost of an original License To Carry in the Lone Star State from $140 to $40. It also reduces the price of a renewal LTC from $70 to $40. The fees in Texas are now among the lowest in the nation.

Texas pro gun laws

Pro Gun Laws went into effect in Texas

House Bill 1819 revises laws relating to the tracking federal law over ownership and possession of firearm sound suppressors.

Before September, The Texas Penal Code required silencers to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.  However, if the controversial Hearing Protection Act eliminating the federal requirement passes Congress before the Texas Legislature meets again in 2019, suppressor owners could be guilty of a felony offense, stated the NRA article.

The Texas change also made it clear that short-barreled firearms with a pistol grip like the Mossberg 590 Shockwave are no longer unlawful.

Senate Bill 1566 contained measures allowing school district employees and workers in open-enrollment charter schools and private elementary or secondary schools who possess valid firearms licenses to transport and store guns out of sight in their locked cars and trucks.  These employees were left out of a law in 2011 that banned employer policies restricting the lawful possession of firearms in private vehicles.

House Bill 1935 repealed a ban on carrying or possessing knives including dirks, daggers, stilettos and Bowie knives by eliminating them from the prohibited weapons sections of the Texas Penal Code.  Texas retains the prohibition on the possession or carrying of knives with a blade more than 5 ½ inches long in public.

Senate Bill 2065 included language permitting volunteers to provide security at places of worship to be exempt from requirements of the Private Security Act.  The measures could include License To Carry holders approved by church leaders. The prohibition on gun possession by licensed carriers at places of worship is only enforceable if the location is posted or verbal notice is provided.

House Bill 3784 permits individuals approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety to offer an online course to cover the classroom part of the required training for a License To Carry.

Although Texas has some of the most liberal firearms laws in the country, not all police officers are familiar withpro gun laws such as the open carry legislation and some Texans have fallen foul of confusion, we note on our website.

If you have been arrested for a firearms offense, please call our Texas criminal defense lawyers at (512) 474-4445.

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