Texas 82nd Legislative Session in Review

Another year has begun. I kind of like the New Years as it signals the end of the Holidays and the company is probably going home, but it also carries a message of something new is going to happen. Will it, guess we will not know until the year progresses a little.

The Texas Legislature has convened and hopefully not too many good things will get changed badly and some bad things will be improved. I hope that we can all keep an open mind to hear the proposals and see that some we may not have proposed are good or at least investigate enough to find out.

A lot of the courts and state governments have been leaning towards assuring and strengthening the “2 amendment rights.” Texas should have a very conservative legislature so hopefully they will do wisely and work on making our state strong and insuring that all men stay free.


Huge changes and streamlining of the concealed handgun application process have been made. So be sure and check with Department of Public Safety online before you apply or renew to be sure you get completely correct information and finish the process as quickly as possible.

We have stopped doing fingerprints in our classes, as after March 1, the DPS will no longer accept rolled fingerprint cards. They must be completed through L-1 Solutions. Be sure you do not just go to an L-1 Solutions Office to get them done as there is a process which must be followed and you must have an appointment before you go. We have contacted all the organizations we can in an attempt to get an exception on this process for especially those of you who live out of Austin but to no avail. However, many instructors are still working to see if this can be accomplished and we will keep you informed.

We suggest you – as a first time student applying for a license.

TAKE CLASS- GET CHL100 (so understand process) We do your photographs and go over the process.

Then apply online. Print out the receipt and Check List with the Bar Code.

When you complete the application you will be assigned a number so you can set up your L-1 Solutions appointment. Get fingerprinted. Remember that L-1 Solutions only accept Checks or Money Orders – no cash or credit cards.

Send your checklist, fingerprints receipt, photo ID and hard copy photos and any other documentations to DPS. It has been taking between 25 and 65 days to get issued so they are doing a great job especially with so many people applying.

You can apply on line first, but we go over the process in class and review the rules laws and statutes you will verify you understand.


Renewal student

You just go online and review the information on your license and apply for a renewal, pay by credit card, and then come to a 4 hour class, qualify on the range and take the test. Renewal students no longer have to have fingerprints or photos redone unless there is a problem with the ones they have on record.

Legislature -

According to Texas law the 82
January 11, 2011 to Monday, May 30. The last day to file regular bills will be Friday, March 11.

You can follow bills as the legislature meets at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx or at the Texas Instructors website www.txchia.org .

The following are some of the proposed bills filed which may affect the way we carry –

House Bills 25 and 77– Changing 46.02 to include not just the person premise but inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person's control and further setting the description of a watercraft as any boat, motorboat, vessel, or personal watercraft, other than a seaplane on water, used or capable of being used for transportation on water.

Legislature will be in session 140 days, from Tuesday,

House Bill 86, House Bill 750 and Senate Bill 354 – Allow CHLs to carry concealed on college campuses. Allows CHLs to carry at collegiate sporting events not posted with 30.06. Lets private schools ban carry in premises. Allows for safe storage regulations in dorms. Makes schools and administrators immune from liability for the firearms. Senate Bill 354 Delays implementation of the changes until September 1, 2012.

Texas State University in San Marcos has endorsed carrying concealed handguns on campus. The passed a resolution in December backing a proposed bill that would allow anyone to carry a concealed handgun around campus if they are 21 or older, have a concealed carry license, and have undergone training and background checks. Several bills have been proposed on this subject:

House Bills 145 AND 298 - Attempt to make firearms, parts, and ammunition manufactured completely in Texas exempt from Federal regulation.

House Bill 181 - Adds firearms and ammunition to the list of items in the before-school sales tax holiday

House Bill 190 and Senate Bill 337 – allowing cities to regulate noise produced by loudspeakers or sound amplifying equipment. . Need be sure an exception is made for shooting ranges.

House Bill 242 - Administrative changes affecting which officers qualify for retired and off-duty carry.

House Bill 356 Prohibits a person whose principal residence is Texas from carrying on an out-of-state CHL.

This may be a moot in that it was submitted to solve the Utah license situation. A report in the Salt Lake Tribune stated that one vote in the Senate passed on the preliminary vote which would restrict out-of-state gun owners who seek the Utah concealed handgun permit to obtain a permit from their home state first if one is available. A final vote should come within weeks.

Though the Utah permit is popular because it has reciprocity with 33 other states, Utah has realized that Nevada and New Mexico recently quit recognizing Utah permits out of concern that Utah does not require any measure of shooting proficiency. They commented that this bill would return to the states control over their own residents and ensure that Utah permits continue to be recognized by other states.

House Bill 681 is the same as Senate Bill 321. Allowing employees to keep their handgun locked in their vehicles at work.

House Bill 698 - Relating to the carrying of concealed handguns by members of the board or the superintendent attending a school board meeting.

Senate Bill 275 – Allows capture, trapping or hunting of a reptile, amphibian or insect along a road. (still no shooting on roadways)

Senate Bill 285 – Exemptions for certain judicial officers on obtaining and renewing a concealed handgun license and for certain judicial officers to carry certain weapons.

Senate Bill 288 -- Lets DPS, in conjunction with federal agencies, set up southbound checkpoints stopping cars about to enter Mexico, to search for firearms and cash.

Senate Bill 294 -Lets DPS, in conjunction with federal agencies, set up southbound checkpoints stopping cars about to enter Mexico, to search for firearms and cash.

Senate Bill 321 – Employer parking lot bill would provide protection in statute for the employee and the employer by allowing legally owned firearms and ammunition to be stored in a personal, locked vehicle parked on the employer’s parking lot or parking garage and provide civil immunity except for gross negligence when following the law.

We will try to keep you posted on bills submitted and thing that are progressing in the Legislature, but do some investigating on your own and be sure to let us know when you see things that will benefit everyone and we will get it out there.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve an information collection that would require federally licensed firearm dealers to report the sales of two or more semiautomatic rifles to the same customer within a five-day period.. This may subject firearms dealers and their customers to requirements that would inevitably track and catalogue the purchases of law-abiding gun owners.. Under current law, the ATF already has extensive powers to inspect the sales records of firearms dealers and investigate suspicious transactions.

Isn’t it wonderful that people take the time to figure out all these wonderful statistics - It is exciting to know that the hunters of America are the 8th largest and one of the best armed armies in the world. And all that while they enjoying themselves. Gives you hope that freedom may still be well and strong.

Much to my concern, Mass killings still make for lurid news coverage.. Many are trying to say that weak gun laws somehow contributed to the tragic shooting in Tucson. Arizona law forbids the sale of guns to persons found by a court to be a danger to themselves or others, but no one had stepped up to have Mr. Loughner determined to be mentally incompetent even though people had complained that they were afraid of him and that he was a danger. The shooter planned and rehearsed his part in this episode prior to appearing at the scene and no law would have kept him from doing his tragic deed.

But it is comforting to know that in the shooting, bystanders took a stand to stop him, but apparently were only able to do that after he had successfully inserted a second magazine and started to flee. I applaud the bystanders in that they were there to stop the aggression and not to “kill or be vigilantes”. Their appearances before the media were impressive. “Did what had to do, did not want to do it, but had to stop the perpetrator. Did not need to use our concealed handguns as the situation was under control.”

There is very strong evidence that the use of guns for self-protection is both frequent and effective and that victims are less likely to be injured or lose property than other victims who do nothing to resist. This must be taken into account when considering

any benefit of measures that would prevent this type of incident which are the rarest of crimes.

”Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others." --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34, 1788

Classes are going strong and our next Basic Handgun Class is February 26.

The Personal Protection in the Home Class is a favorite for most as we have, with the wonderful help of Matt Billingsley from the Lone Star Range, been able to incorporate a delightful 2 hours on the range doing shooting practices which will help you go from ”target shooting – shoot a couple of rounds, then lower the gun and see where you hit” to practicing defensive drills that will help you shoot accurately and safely in defense of your home and loved ones. The next Personal Protection in the Home Class is March 26.

Stay Safe,

Ross and Dottie Bransford

“It is [the citizens] choice, and depends upon their conduct, whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptable and miserable as a Nation. This is the time of their political probation; this is the moment when the eyes of the World are turned upon them.”

Credited to George Washington, Letter to the Governors, 1783.

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