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IMPACT WITNESSES AND GRASSROOTS SUPPORT SOUGHT FOR TWO TSRA-BACKED BILLS
The following bills have been introduced in the Texas Legislature and are strongly supported by the Texas State Rifle Association. TSRA is seeking impact witnesses who could make themselves available to testify at a future public hearing in Austin before the committees listed below. If you fit the description and are interested in helping, please contact Alice Tripp, TSRA lobbyist, at AGTripp@aol.com or page her (512-505-9519) leave a brief message and a contact number.
HB 823 by Rep. Terry Keel (R-Austin) has been referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. This bill would create an exception to the Unlawful Carry Section of the Penal Code and make it legal to carry a handgun in your car or truck for protection without a CHL. Current law establishes a defense to prosecution to a charge of unlawful carry if you are "traveling". A â€œdefense to prosecutionâ€? means that if you possess a handgun in your car, you can still be charged with unlawful carry and you will need to hire a lawyer to submit evidence on the charge to a judge and jury. The judge and jury will then decide whether you were â€œtravelingâ€? at the time of the offense -- and "traveling" is not defined anywhere in law.
We are looking for individuals who have been charged with a violation of this section of the Penal Code, hired an attorney and gone to court, and been acquitted because a judge and jury found that they were "traveling."
Even if you don't fit this description, you can still help. Please contact these committee members and urge them to support HB 823:
House Criminal Justice Committee:
Chairman Terry Keel
512-463-0652 (thank him for authoring the bill)
Vice-Chair Debbie Riddle
Rep. Mary Denny
Rep. Juan Escobar
Rep. Aaron Pena (thank him for signing on as a joint author to the bill)
Rep. Richard Raymond
Rep. Elvira Reyna
HB 896 by Rep. David Farabee (D-Wichita Falls) has been referred to the House Law Enforcement Committee. This bill would prohibit employers from banning the transport or possession of handguns by CHLs in locked vehicles parked on property controlled by the employer. It would not affect employer policies regarding "No Firearms In The Workplace" except to state, in law, that the ban could not extend to vehicles in employee parking lots, parking garages, or other parking areas.
We are looking for any CHLs who are negatively impacted by their employer's current policy prohibiting them from keeping their handgun in their car while at work -- especially employees who travel long distances to work, who work late hours, or who are forced to park in undesirable areas off company property so that they may keep their gun in their car and not risk violating that policy.
Even if you don't fit this description, you can still help. Please contact these committee members and urge them to support HB 896:
House Law Enforcement Committee
Chairman Joe Driver
Vice Chair Jim Jackson
Rep. Stephen Frost (thank him for signing on as a joint author to the bill)
Rep. Glenn Hegar
Rep. Suzanna Hupp
Rep. Mark Veasey