On Sept. 1, Texas Members will be able to open a big ol’ goodie bag of upgraded self-defense freedoms, courtesy of Gov. Abbott and the Texas Legislature. Click the video below to see Independent Program Attorney Emily Taylor alert you to some of the changes. Transcript appears below the video.
2017 Texas Legislative Session has come to an end and the Lone Star State has several new firearms and self-defense related bills that have been signed into law by Governor Abbott and will go into effect on September 1, 2017.
House Bill 1935 amends Texas Penal Code Section 46.016 to remove the term “illegal knife” and create the term “location-restricted knife.” Knives will no longer be specifically classified as daggers, dirks, stilettos, swords, so on and so forth. Instead, all knives that have a blade over five and half inches from guard to tip, are simply location-restricted.
Any knife that has a blade shorter than five-and-a-half inches is legal and unregulated. As of September 1st, so long as you’re over the age of 18, it’ll be legal for you to carry your location-restricted knife on your person anywhere that isn’t set out by law as being restricted.
What are these restricted areas? 51% establishments, high school, collegiate, or professional sporting events, correctional facilities, hospitals, mental hospitals, nursing facilities, amusement parks, and places of religious worship. Also the premises of a school are off-limits. Anywhere else you’re free to carry your location-restricted knife unless you’re under the age of 18, in which case you can only have that knife on your own property, in your own motor vehicle or watercraft, or under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.
NFA Items for Self-Defense
We’ve got another bill this session that should delight those of you out there interested in purchasing and possessing NFA items. House Bill 1819 will remove suppressors from the list of prohibited weapons, if and only if, the Federal Hearing Protection Act of 2017 becomes law.
This bill also clarifies the murky issues surrounding the Mossberg 590 Shockwave. It amends Texas Penal Code 4605 to state that those weapons not subject to ATF registration, are not prohibited weapons under Texas law. This means that since the ATF has chosen not to regulate the Mossberg Shockwave, despite its 14-inch shotgun barrel, Texas will follow suit, and not consider this item a short-barreled shotgun.
Improvised Explosive Devices
For you amateur bomb-makers, the news isn’t so happy.
House Bill 913 has added improvised explosive devices to the list of prohibited weapons. This law defines IED as the completed and operational bomb, which means that the unassembled, non-military components, or explosive components used for target practice, for example, tannerite, still legal to possess.
If you’re a school employee, volunteer emergency service personnel, or volunteer church security, and you’ve got an LTC, your carry rights have been expanded and clarified through bills SB1566, HB435, and SB2065. Texas Peace Officers who are off duty have also had
their carry rights expanded through HB873. For more information on these lesser-known bills, call the Texas LawShield business line and ask to speak to an independent program attorney.
License Renewal Fees
Finally, if you’re looking to get your license to carry, or it’s time for your renewal, you’re in luck. SB16 reduces the application fee from $140 to $40, and the renewal fee from $75 to $40. SB263 also does away with the minimum caliber requirements for your firearm used to qualify during the range portion of your license-to-carry class.
If you’d like more information about any of these bills, contact Texas LawShield.