Texas has staunchly defended the Second Amendment to the Constitution as it pertains to citizens' rights to bear arms, and its laws reflect that anti-gun control belief.
More than 750,000 state residents have active concealed handgun licenses, and Texas has had a CHL program for 18 years. Also, permit-owning residents of 41 states can legally carry their firearms within Texas' borders.
The Lone Star State already has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation. Though machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, silencers, armor-piercing bullets, zip guns, and explosive weapons are prohibited, there is no waiting period for gun purchases, and qualified applicants can carry a concealed firearm with a permit.
Still, Texas is always looking for ways to further support individual liberties. In May 2013, the state House of Representatives passed multiple bills, all co-authored by Republican state Rep. Wayne Smith.
- House Bill 1076. The measure proactively preserves citizens' rights, and enhances the ability of the police to protect the public. It essentially prohibits state or municipal law officers from knowingly enforcing certain federal gun control laws.
- House Bill 1314. This bill prevents the enforcement of federal laws that exceed the government's constitutional power by creating a new law for the unlawful seizure of a firearm.
- House Bill 972. The measure allows concealed handgun permit holders to carry in public institutions of higher education, extending Second Amendment protection to students, faculty, and visitors. Individuals could opt out of the provision, however.
- House Bill 1304. Protects a permit holder from being penalized for accidentally displaying a handgun.
I find that last one curious. In the same way that castle-doctrine and stand-your-ground laws are redundant to the already existing self-defense laws, this attempt to legalize accidentally displaying a handgun is completely unnecessary. Furthermore, like the so-called get-away-with-murder laws, legalizing so-called accidents is harmful. Bullying and threatening concealed carry permit holders will be emboldened by having the legal right to "unintentionally" make their weapons visible.
Instead, it should be incumbent upon them to properly and successfully conceal their guns.