The next legislative session will commence in just over a week — January 10, 2017 — and one of the bills pre-filed ahead of the session’s opening was HB 259, authored by State Rep. Rafael Anchia, (D-Dallas). Under the proposed measure, it would become a crime to sell a firearm at a gun show without using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and if the seller fails to maintain a record of the sale. The bill does, however, provide exceptions. No background check is required if the purchaser is a law enforcement officer or is the holder of a license to carry a handgun.
The bill goes even further in that is creates a liability upon the gun show promoter. It would be an offense if the promoter, with criminal negligence, permitted the sale of a firearm to occur without the background check being conducted (unless to law enforcement or the holder of an LTC).
Furthermore, the bill would require promoters to notify local law enforcement officials at least 30 days prior, identifying the dates, times, and place for where the show will be held. Additionally, the promoter must either conduct the background checks themselves or have a licensed firearms dealer on hand to conduct the checks.
If passed, it would become law September 1, 2017. — by Michael Wisdom, Senior Contributing Editor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield Blog