Legislators are already pre-filing record numbers of bills—including many that affect your gun rights.
Some bills would protect or expand your right to keep and bear arms, such as these six key bills:
• Emergency Powers Protection: repeals the governor’s power to control firearms and ammunition during disasters or emergencies (HB 26 by State Rep. Valoree Swanson and HB 340 by State Rep. Briscoe Cain)
• Federal Firearms Protection: prohibits Texas from enforcing Federal gun grab laws enacted after January 1, 2021 (HB 112 by State Rep. Steve Toth)
• Anti-Red Flag Law Bill: this bill keeps Texas out of Federal “red flag” gun confiscation schemes and prohibits entities within the state from deciding to enforce red flag laws (HB 336 by Cain)
• Permitless Carry (HB 299) and Ending “Gun-Free” Zones (HB 304), both by State Rep. Drew Springer: these bills are placeholders for bills on these topics. Springer has expressed a desire to work with us to improve the language. We support bill language to repeal government-mandated “gun-free” zones and to allow anyone who can legally possess a handgun to be able to carry the handgun, open or concealed, without a license.
Unfortunately, these bills aren’t all that were filed during the first week of pre-filing. Anti-gunners have been hard at work strategizing to trample on your ability to defend yourself, and have filed dozens of bills that would decimate your right to keep and bear arms.
These terrible, anti-gun bills include:
• “Red flag” gun confiscation to take away your guns based on “thought crime” (HB 164, HB 395, SB 110)
• Measures to end pre-emption and allow municipalities to control your use of firearms (HB 238)
• Repeal of Stand-Your-Ground laws that currently say you don’t have a duty to retreat (HB 196)
• Bans on commonly used firearms and standard-capacity magazines (HB 172, HB 231, HB 241),
• Universal Background Checks so you cannot sell, give, or loan a gun to someone without running a background check (HB 118, HB 218),
• Bans on open carry of rifles and shotguns in most places outside your own property (HB 213, HB 127)
It’s also important to understand that this is not a final bill list. There will be many more bills filed. Later on, we will prepare an official list of bills to ask your legislators to support or oppose. But for now, here’s what you can do:
Take Action: Call the Capitol office for your state representative and your state senator today and tell them three things:
1. “I’m your constituent.”
2. “I want you to protect my right to keep and bear arms.”
3. “I want you to pass Constitutional Carry so people who can legally own a handgun can carry it, open or concealed, without a license, and end “gun-free” zones so I can be able to defend myself.”
Although national election results were unclear on election night, Texas’ election results gave an unmistakable message: Michael Bloomberg lost big in the Lone Star State. The Texas Legislature should hear this message as a mandate to protect and restore our gun freedoms in the upcoming legislative session.
Bloomberg may have truly believed he could buy the Texas House for gun control and destroy one of our most fearless gun rights champions in Congress. Over the past year, Bloomberg poured millions of dollars and countless streams of social media talking points into our state. His allied gun control organizations held out their hand-picked candidates as being the “answer” to “gun violence.”
If he thought Texas would forget our Alamo heritage and come running to let them come and take our guns away, he was very wrong.
Not only did Bloomberg fail to take over the Texas House, but—in a stunning blow to gun controllers—the House is in fact more pro-gun than it was last session. All of the Gun Owners of America endorsed incumbents kept their seats, five brand new GOA-endorsed freshmen will be joining them, and in Harris County, GOA-endorsed Mike Schofield reclaimed his seat from gun-grabbing Gina Calanni, who never missed a chance during the last session to promote dangerous Bloomberg-funded policies.
When it comes to the Texas Congressional delegation, the results are equally dramatic. Chip Roy, who won his seat in 2018 with only 50.2 percent of the vote, more than doubled his margin of victory. This year, he won re-election with 52.1 percent of the vote. His opponent Wendy Davis—the darling of the gun control world nationally—came in at only 45.2 percent. That means that Chip Roy won with a margin of nearly 7 percentage points—more than twice the 2.6-percentage point margin of victory he received in 2018.
Despite anti-gunners working up a frenzy trying to get Texans to turn out the vote for their candidates, and despite many of these candidates far out-raising Gun Owner’s Choice candidates, Texas still voted to keep our guns.
This fact should send a strong signal to the Texas Legislature.
It shouldn’t take any further data for the Legislature to understand that Texans are not motivated by gun control policies.
Without a doubt, the 87th Texas Legislature must defend against all gun control measures. We know that gun grabbers will still try to advance dangerous policies such as red flag gun confiscation, universal background checks, and gun storage laws—all in the name of “safety.” The House and Senate must both stop these bills dead in their tracks.
But stopping the gun control isn’t enough. Texas gun owners didn’t work this hard block-walking and phone banking and volunteering simply to maintain the status quo in our state’s gun laws.
Texas lags far behind other states in our right to carry. While 31 states recognize the right to open carry without a government permit—and 17 states recognize the right to conceal carry a handgun without a permit—Texas still generally requires a permit for handgun carry outside of our property, business, or vehicle.
And even with a permit, honest and law-abiding citizens are still prohibited from carrying in many locations due to government-mandated “gun-free” zones.
Texas voters want our legislature to do more than just block gun control.
In the name of liberty and justice for all, and in the spirit of the Alamo, the 87th Legislature must pass Constitutional Carry and end “gun-free” zones. Our right to carry a firearm for protection should not rely on government. Texas, it’s time to move forward with freedom.
This is a commentary republished with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to firstname.lastname@example.org.