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by Bladed
Wed May 08, 2013 12:31 am
Forum: 2013 Texas Legislative Session
Topic: Committee substitute for HB 972 passes committee
Replies: 36
Views: 3742

Re: Committee substitute for HB 972 passes committee

baldeagle wrote:
terryg wrote:Update on HB 972.

The NRA-ILA update this evening highlighted something about this bill that I either did not catch before, or has been added. I have been very disappointed at the opt-out provision. But according to the NRA, this bill would remove criminal penalties for carrying on campus. When schools opt-out, they are essentially creating employee and/or student regulations ... with no criminal penalties. It may not seem like much, but this is huge. It now means that faculty and staff only face termination for violating university policy if they choose to carry rather than criminal prosecution.

Please correct if I have read this wrong. I think this is a fantastic first step bill!

House Bill 972 by state Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress) and state Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) eliminates the criminal prohibition on the possession of firearms on public and private college campuses for Texas Concealed Handgun Licensees. As passed in the House, schools may adopt administrative rules and regulations restricting licensees in campus buildings, but only after consulting annually with campus law enforcement, faculty, staff and students. HB 972 also now contains language from SB 1907 by Senator Glenn Hegar prohibiting public and private institutions of higher education from adopting or enforcing policies banning students who are CHLs from transporting and storing handguns and ammunition in their privately-owned motor vehicles while driving through or parking on campus
I believe that is correct.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally,
knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal
knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a):
(1) on the [physical] premises of a school or
[educational] institution of higher education or private or
independent institution of higher education, any grounds or
building on which an activity sponsored by a school or
[educational] institution of higher education or private or
independent institution of higher education is being conducted, or
a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or [educational]
institution of higher education or private or independent
institution of higher education, whether the school or
[educational] institution is public or private, unless:
(A) pursuant to written rules or regulations or
written authorization of the school or institution; or
(B) the person possesses or goes on premises
owned or leased and operated by an institution of higher education
or private or independent institution of higher education, on any
grounds or building owned or leased by the institution and on which
an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or on a
passenger transportation vehicle of the institution with a
concealed handgun that the person is licensed to carry pursuant to a
license issued under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code;
If I'm understanding this correctly, possessing a firearm on the premises of an institution of higher education is no longer a violation of the penal code. This means, literally, it is not a violation of the law to carry on a campus unless the school has posted 30.06 signs. Then it would become trespass and a Class A misdemeanor.
Per Rep. Fletcher's description of the amended bill at third reading, nothing in the bill (as passed by the House) would allow a public college or university to post 30.06 on campus buildings. The relevant language is in the amended Penal Code. The amended Government Code has no bearing on a public college's ability to post 30.06, only on a public college's ability to create administrative policies (which do not have force of criminal law). Nothing in the amended Penal Code would exempt a public college from the "governmental entity" restriction created by PC 30.06(e).

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