AUSTIN — Texas foster parents will now be able to better protect themselves and their families, thanks to a soon-to-be state law.
On Thursday, the Texas Senate approved House Bill 1387, which enables foster parents to store their guns and ammunition in the same locked location.
Previously, state law had impaired foster families from securing their home and loved ones.
“Under current law, parents who wish to be foster parents and a gun owner must choose between storing their firearms and their ammunition separately, meaning the gun is separately locked and the ammunition is separately locked in separate locations, or storing them with a trigger guard on the firearm,” said the bill’s Senate sponsor, State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R–Granbury).
“These provisions burden a Texan’s right to self-protection, particularly in an immediate-need situation, and consequently discourage individuals from becoming or remaining foster parents,” he said.
“The minimum standards [of the Human Resources Code] must allow firearms and ammunition to be stored together in the same locked location,” the bill reads.
The Senate approved the proposed law on a mostly party-line vote of 20-11. All Democrat senators except for State Sen. Eddie Lucio (San Benito) opposed the bill.
“While foster parents are still legally obliged to safely store their firearms and ammunition under this legislation, they’re no longer required to store the firearm locked separate from the ammunition,” concluded Birdwell.
“Our state is always in need of willing and capable foster parents, and HB 1387 extends the existing right of most Texans to be foster parents, ensuring there are fewer barriers facing qualified individuals ready to help our children.”
The bill has already passed the House of Representatives and will soon end up on the governor’s desk to be signed into law.