May 31, 2023
The Texas Legislature gaveled out Sine Die earlier this week, declaring an end to an underwhelming legislative session.
Despite pro-gun candidates securing victories in the recent mid-term elections, Republicans in Austin largely turned their backs on gun owners for the 2023 legislative session.
Many House Republicans will tell you they “ran out of time” to take up many pro-gun measures championed by Texas Gun Rights.
They will tell you they ran out of time to pass a bill that would expand Constitutional Carry (HB 4554).
They will tell you they ran out of time to remove short-barrel firearms from the prohibited weapons list (HB 2705).
They will tell you they ran out of time to enact a strong Second Amendment Preservation Act (HB 5153).
They may even try to tell you they ran out of time to ban “Red Flag” laws (HB 1894) — yet it was two Republicans (Rep. Justin Holland and Rep. Sam Harless) who joined Democrats to kill the bill in committee.
But what did the Republican-controlled House of Representatives have time for?
They had time to conduct a political witch hunt of Attorney General Ken Paxton and vote to impeach him in a Kangaroo Court.
All because Paxton suggested Speaker Phelan resign for presiding over the Texas House while appearing intoxicated.
So where does that leave pro-gun Texans?
Read below for our brief recap of the 88th Legislative Session.
Inching towards Universal Gun Registration
Sadly, the Republican establishment chose to ignore the thousands of phone calls, emails, and petitions of Texas Gun Rights members and supporters, encouraging them to oppose bills that bring Texas in line with Joe Biden’s goal of Universal Gun Registration.
With the passage of SB 728, tens of thousands of juvenile records will now find their way into the NICS Gun Ban Registry, even if these individuals do not possess a history of violence or criminal behavior. This, of course, mirrors part of Joe Biden’s gun control found in the “Bi-partisan Safer Communities Act” of last summer.
More than 94% of firearms purchase denials have been attributed to “false positives” by the FBI-controlled NICS Gun Ban Registry, which was created in 1998. Most denials are due to individuals having the same or similar name as a prohibited person.
Texas Gun Rights firmly believes that rather than expanding the NICS Gun Ban Registry, it should be abolished entirely, and is calling on Governor Abbott to uphold Texas’ Second Amendment Sanctuary law and veto SB 728.
TXGR Members & Supporters KILLED the Texas Gag Act.
RINO Republicans went to extreme measures to try and hide their voting records from constituents in 2023.
With the Texas Gag Act (HB 1585), authored by Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth, grassroots groups like Texas Gun Rights would be prohibited from talking about the voting records of politicians… unless they made confidential donor records and membership lists public.
Rep. Geren was one of many RINO Republicans who supported SB 728 (and opposed many other conservative measures).
Texas Gun Rights quickly mobilized its members against this anti-First Amendment proposal and encouraged the Senate to refuse to take up this bill after it cleared the House of Representatives, effectively killing this draconian policy for 2023.
Texas Gun Rights pledges to always maintain the privacy of its members and never handover membership lists to the government and will file a lawsuit if RINO Republicans ever pass this first-Amendment shredding law in years to come.
The Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act
For years, financial institutions have categorized gun store purchases as “miscellaneous retail” or “sporting goods.”
But thanks to lobbying by Gun Control, Inc., “woke” financial institutions began using Merchant Category Codes (MCC’s) to flag how many guns, or how much ammunition you buy.
If these institutions deemed your purchases “excessive,” they’d turn you over to law enforcement for investigation.
That’s why Texas Gun Rights fought for HB 2837, the Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act, which prohibits financial institutions from using merchant codes to track, report, or disclose our lawful purchases of firearms, ammunition, and accessories in the state of Texas.
HB 2837 passed and is currently awaiting Governor Abbott’s signature.
Reining in “gun free” zones
Pro-gun Texans across the state have long recognized the inherent dangers of so-called “gun free” zones.
Nearly 98% of mass shootings have occurred in these areas since 1950, yet public entities like zoos and libraries often exploit loopholes in the law by designating themselves as “educational institutions” to deter the carrying of firearms – under the pretext a school field trip or extracurricular activity could occur in these facilities.
Thanks to HB 1760, which was already signed by Governor Abbott, educational institutions will now be narrowly defined, reining in the abuse of these so-called “gun free” slaughter zones and allowing more Texans to be their own first line of defense.
Strengthening Texas’ Pre-Emption Laws
HB 3137 was sent to the Governor’s desk for signature and will prohibit municipalities from requiring gun owners to purchase liability insurance. This is a huge victory for gun owners as we’ve seen places like San Jose, CA and the state of New Jersey implement insurance requirements to discourage citizens from carrying a firearm by essentially creating a tax to exercise a Constitutionally protected right.
The Texas Legislature is now in the first special session of the legislature, but they are currently limited by the Governor to only consider property tax relief and border security.
While it is not likely that any gun-related policies will be added to the call for this special session (or future special sessions), it is always important to remember that we could be one tragedy away from weak-kneed Republicans caving to the anti-gun mob if, God forbid, we see another tragedy at the hands of a deranged killer.
So please stay tuned to Texas Gun Rights for future updates and consider becoming a monthly donor so TXGR has the resources to respond to ANY threat at a moment’s notice!
For Texas and Liberty,
Texas Gun Rights