TX Legislative Updates 2017
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TX Legislative Updates 2017


The 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 1st, 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. 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 46.05 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. 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 IEDs
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 SB
1566, HB 435, and SB 2065. Texas Peace Officers who are off duty have also had
their carry rights expanded through HB 873. For more information on these
lesser-known bills, call the Texas LawShield business line and ask to speak to
an independent program attorney. Finally, if you’re looking to get your license to
carry, or it’s time for your renewal, you’re in luck. SB 16 reduces the
application fee from $140 to $40, and the renewal fee from $75 to $40. SB
263 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.

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