Report:: House Law Enforcement Committee meeting yesterday

Relevant bills filed and their status

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CWOOD
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Report:: House Law Enforcement Committee meeting yesterday

#1

Post by CWOOD » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:54 pm

I decided to attend after being notified by TSRA email.

Bills discussed were HB220, HB511, HB992, and HB1037. They all seek to adress the current issue where employers are prohibiting CHL holders for storing their handguns in a locked vehicle on a public access parking lot while at work. Actually HB1037 is a bit different but related. To read the full text of each bill you may go to the following link and enter the bill number in the search line (ie., HB1037):

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

Then click on the little 'Texas' link next to 'Introduced version" and you will be offered your choice of HTML, Word Document, or PDF.

Here are brief summaries of the bills:
80(R) HB 220 - Introduced version - Fiscal Note
Excerpt: The bill would prohibit a public or private employer from establishing or enforcing a policy that prohibits a person licensed to carry a concealed hand gun from carrying a concealed hand gun in a locked vehicle in any parking area. However, a private employer may enforce such a policy if the employer provides employees with a parking area that is gated, not open to the public, and monitored by security personnel. No significant fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.

80(R) HB 511 - Introduced version - Fiscal Note
Excerpt: The bill would prohibit a public or private employer from establishing or enforcing a policy that prohibits a person licensed to carry a concealed hand gun from carrying a concealed hand gun in a locked vehicle in any parking area. However, a private employer may enforce such a policy if the employer provides employees with a parking area that is gated, not open to the public, and monitored by security personnel. No significant fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.

80(R) HB 992 - Introduced version - Fiscal Note
Excerpt: The bill would amend statute and create a new cause of action for damages whenever a private or governmental employer discharges, discriminates, or penalizes an employee licensed to carry a handgun under Texas law, because the employee transported the handgun in the employee s locked motor vehicle that was in the employer s parking lot and the employee had previously provided a written statement about the licensed handgun with a copy of the license to the employer. No significant fiscal ...

80(R) HB 1037 - Introduced version -
NOTE! The official summary is wrong. This bill amends the'Labor Code' and creates a cause of action if an employer punishes any employee (not otherwise probibited)from storing any firearm in a locked vehicle in a parking lot. This would be not just CHL holders but would also include other situations like a hunter going hunting before or after work or someone wanting to go to a range.

The bills were introduced one at a time in order by their authors and the committee recieved public comment.

OPPOSING ALL THE BILLS were the following businesses and organizations:
Testifying
1. USAA the large insurance firm catering to military personnel and their families, located in San Antonio.
2. American Electronics Council which represents electronics firms across the nation.
3. Texas Employment Law Council which represents many large employers in Texas such as petro-chemical firms
Not Testifying
4. San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
5. Union Pacific Railroad
6. Texas Association of Business.
There were no individuals speaking against the bills.

SUPPORTING ALL THE BILLS were the TSRA and several individuals.

Alice Tripp, TSRA Legislative Director gave a good and effective presentation and seemed to have good raport with the committee members.

Among the individuals were a high school teacher, a medical researcher, a man from the high tech firm formerly known as Tracor Electronics (they were bought out), and another gentleman whose background I did not note. I work for a very large retailer open 24 hours a day with employees arriving and leaving at any time day or night. As I said, I have reached the point in my life where fist fighting and fast running are no longer viable options in protecting my self and my family.

Thrust of the individual comments was that by prohibiting a CHL holder from storing their firearm in a locked vehicle at work, the employer is effectivly disarming that person for the time they leave home in the morning until they get home...even if they want to go to someplace like "LUBY'S" for lunch. All of this is when the employee is OFF THE CLOCK. It was also pointed out that CHL holders are among the lowest risk members of our society, as has been demonstrated over the last 12 years since CHL was enacted.

It was pointed out that Southwest Airlines has had an effective policy dealing with CHL's and handguns for years. They provide secure, on-site storage facilities so the CHL holders wears the handgun into the building, stores it and retrieves it on the way out. They only require that the employee file a notice of intent, and that they include a photocopy of the CHL and keep it current. HB992 mirrors the Southwest Airlines policy.

The majority of the committee was generally supportive, others less so.

Supportive:
Chair, Rep. Joe Driver
Rep. Steven Frost
Rep. George 'Buddy' West
Rep. Thomas Latham

Among the other members, Rep. Vo never said a word. Rep. Solomon Ortiz, Jr. (not his father) commented once and displayed no obvious leanings. Rep. Alma Allen seemed generally uninformed and confused. She gave the impression that she didn't want any firearm around her and couldn't see why anyone else would.

By the way, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, Chair of Senate Jurisprudence is holding a hearing of bills including his SB378 (Castle Doctrine) on Wednesday at or after 1:30PM.

Rep. Joe Driver has a corresponding House version HB284 in a hearing of the House Jurisprudence Committee at or after 2:0PM TODAY

I hope someone finds this useful.


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Very useful

#2

Post by BobCat » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:19 pm

Thank you, it is very useful. I felt wretched that I did not go up to Austin for this. Thanks for reporting in.

Regards,
Andrew
Retractable claws; the *original* concealed carry

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#3

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:55 pm

Thanks for the write-up and for going. I watched it on the Internet until about 5:00'ish when I lost the link and couldn't get it back. You' re right on regarding Rep. Alma Allen. She didn't have a clue what the bills were about, but since they pertained to guns, she was against them.

I loved it when Rep. Frost took the employment law attorney apart in questioning! That poor guy must not have spent much time in a courtroom.

I'll be in Austin to testify in the Senate hearing on SB378 tomorrow and I'll be watching the hearing on Chairman Driver's HB284 today.

Chas.

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Re: Report:: House Law Enforcement Committee meeting yesterd

#4

Post by stevie_d_64 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:52 pm

CWOOD wrote:I hope someone finds this useful.
Are you kidding??? :lol:

Fabulous!

Glad you attended...Look forward to hearing what you and Charles say about todays hearings...

One thing though Rep. Vo is cut from the same mold as Rep. Allen...

Don't expect much from that...We're trying hard to get Talmage Heflin (or someone like him back in that seat...
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Re: Report:: House Law Enforcement Committee meeting yesterd

#5

Post by AggieMM » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:26 pm

CWOOD wrote: OPPOSING ALL THE BILLS were the following businesses and organizations:
Testifying
1. USAA the large insurance firm catering to military personnel and their families, located in San Antonio.
That's just sad, makes me want to rethink my business with them......... :(

Thanks for the info!!!! :)

Ryan


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#6

Post by k5dmb » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:34 pm

Here's the link if anyone wants to watch; requires RealVideo player.

Rep. Alma Allen was fairly clear that she was not clear at all about what they were discussing...

rtsp://realvideoe.house.state.tx.us:554/archives/cmte80r/70226p26.rm
David
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Re: Report:: House Law Enforcement Committee meeting yesterd

#7

Post by Liberty » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:09 pm

AggieMM wrote:
CWOOD wrote: OPPOSING ALL THE BILLS were the following businesses and organizations:
Testifying
1. USAA the large insurance firm catering to military personnel and their families, located in San Antonio.
That's just sad, makes me want to rethink my business with them......... :(

Thanks for the info!!!! :)

Ryan
4. San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

I've been going to San Antonio and staying at the RiverWalk at least 2 times a year. Looks like I won't be going there anymore.


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#8

Post by Rallyman » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:56 am

Does anyone know what the objection was to these bills? Just curious.


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#9

Post by k5dmb » Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:34 am

Well,

Rep. Alma Allen felt that allowing CHL holders to keep their weapon in the car while at work would open the door to actually driving to work with the weapon in the car. :shock:

It took several stabs at explaining that they already can drive with it before she 'had no further questions' :???:

Edit: In the link above (my previous post) fast foward to time index: 25:12 if you've got broadband it's quick and worth seeing our tax dollars at work.

David
Last edited by k5dmb on Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#10

Post by Rallyman » Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:45 am

k5dmb wrote:Well,

Rep. Alma Allen felt that allowing CHL holders to keep their weapon in the car while at work would open the door to actually driving to work with the weapon in the car. :shock:

It took several stabs at explaining that they already can drive with it before she 'had no further questions' :???:

David
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#11

Post by jimlongley » Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:17 pm

Yep, Allen doesn't have clue 1.
Real gun control, carrying 24/7/365


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CWOOD
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They blew a lot of smoke

#12

Post by CWOOD » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:10 pm

Rallyman wrote:Does anyone know what the objection was to these bills? Just curious.
Same ole, same ole,

We want to keep our employees and customers safe...

We believe in personal property rights.....they can already prevent it with 30.06 if they have the cojones to use it.

We will have too much liability.....how about the liability of preventing some one from carrying and THEY get assaulted or the same liability they might have by not posting 30.06

In fact Rep. Frost commented (only slightly tongue in cheek, "maybe we should hold the employer liable for the employees entire round trip from home to work and back.

Yada yada yada


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#13

Post by Right2Carry » Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:22 pm

Well the problem as I see it is my employeer provides security and a gated entrance so it still does not allow me to protect myself to and from work.

I think any CHL holder should be allowed to keep his gun locked in his car on company property regardless of what the employer does for security. It prevents me from protecting myself to and from work.
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, an American Soldier doesn't have that problem". — President Ronald Reagan, 1985


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#14

Post by CWOOD » Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:44 pm

Right2Carry wrote:Well the problem as I see it is my employeer provides security and a gated entrance so it still does not allow me to protect myself to and from work.

I think any CHL holder should be allowed to keep his gun locked in his car on company property regardless of what the employer does for security. It prevents me from protecting myself to and from work.
The results depene on which of the 4 bills goes forward. Currently, all 4 bills are still in committee. There will be some negotiating amont the various authors and co-sponsors an most likely, one of the bills will advance with a favorable recommendation.

All is not lost.

By the way, do you have a public access parking lot that you could use? That might be a solution.


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Re: Report:: House Law Enforcement Committee meeting yesterd

#15

Post by ScubaSigGuy » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:41 pm

AggieMM wrote:
CWOOD wrote: OPPOSING ALL THE BILLS were the following businesses and organizations:
Testifying
1. USAA the large insurance firm catering to military personnel and their families, located in San Antonio.
That's just sad, makes me want to rethink my business with them......... :(

Thanks for the info!!!! :)

Ryan

This upsets me as well. I will be calling them tomorrow and following that up with a letter. I urge others to do the same.
S.S.G.

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