Numerous Gun Control Bills Filed for Next Legislative Session

At least 16 gun control bills have already been filed for the upcoming Texas Legislative Session beginning in January, setting the stage for a contentious battle over the gun rights of private citizens.

ORIGINAL: One of the bills is HB 196, filed by Irving State Representative Terry Meza.  Her bill would remove a homeowner’s legal right under the Castle Doctrine to use a firearm in the defense of their homestead against an intruder.  Meza believes homeowners are too quick to pull the trigger during a home invasion, and HB 196 would essentially gut that provision from the Castle Doctrine.*

*Clarification: A representative of Irving State Representative Terry Meza explains HB196 amends the castle doctrine, not take it away completely. It would instead implement a duty to safely retreat if possible. The bills language specifically states Deadly Force can still be used if the resident believes it is necessary.

“I’m not condoning stealing, it is against the law, “Meza says, “but it’s not an offense that is punishable by death.”

Meza claims she’s already become the target of intense scrutiny online.

“People are already attacking me on Facebook saying I’m against the 2nd Amendment,” she says.

Meza says a homeowner would still be able to defend their life, but using a gun would be illegal, thus placing the homeowner in legal jeopardy.

Critics point to what is often a slow response time from police, and argue that there’s very little time to determine whether a person who has broken into a home is there simply to steal, or to commit acts of violence.

Other gun control bills awaiting the next session include:

  • HB 152 and HB 245 would ban the private sale of firearms at gun shows;
  • HB 238 would eliminate the state’s firearm preemption, allowing local governments such as the Austin City Council to pass local gun bans and regulations as they see fit;
  • HB 201 would ban Campus Carry;
  • HB 127 would ban the open carry of long rifles;
  • HB 236 would overhaul the 30.06 and 30.07 signage requirements to make it much easier for a business to ban a legal and licensed gun owner from entering;
  • HB 118 would eliminate family members from being able to transfer firearms among each other, instead requiring a federal license application to process each transaction “at an undetermined fee”;
  • HB 164 and HB 395 relate to Red Flag laws, allowing the removal of a person’s firearm without due process;
  • HB 185 would legally require homeowners to keep all guns locked inside of a safe at all times;
  • HB 231 raises the legal age required to purchase semi-automatic rifles and shotguns;
  • HB 172 and HB 241 would ban the transfer or possession of certain “commonly owned semi-automatic firearms”;
  • HB 178 and HB 234 would ban the sale or possession of any magazine that holds more than ten rounds.

The vast majority of those gun control bills are not expected to pass muster when state lawmakers reconvene.

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