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CHL Changes in Texas for 2013

This is a discussion on CHL Changes in Texas for 2013 within the RKBA News and Information forums, part of the Political Discussions category; I received this today from the folks where I took my CHL class and renewal. It explains all of the changes for 2013. This newsletter ...


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Old 07-31-2013, 01:51 PM   #1
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CHL Changes in Texas for 2013

I received this today from the folks where I took my CHL class and renewal. It explains all of the changes for 2013.

Quote:
This newsletter contains new information regarding CHL and weapons laws in Texas. In the last newsletter, we discussed the training changes but, there is new info on training since our last publication.

CHL Renewals
As discussed in our last issue, the process to apply for a concealed handgun license, as well as to renew, has undergone significant modifications. Shortly after our last newsletter, the Governor signed a bill that contradicts SB862. HB48 states no renewal class is necessary, ever.

SB 864 states that there are renewal classes but they can be taken online, while HB 48 states that there is no longer a requirement for renewal classes at all. Based on how the two bills are written and the order in which each passed, it appears that HB 48 would be controlling with regards to renewals. In other words, there is probably no longer a CHL renewal class requirement after September 1st. Texas Representative Flynn's office confirmed that this is how the two bills are intended to reconcile; Flynn was the author of HB 48, and the sponsor of SB 864.

To date the TDPS has not verified what law will be followed for renewals so at this time a renewal class is still required.

As a reminder last month, we discussed that the classroom instruction length for an original CHL is reduced to 4-6 hours from the previous 10-15 hour length (Doesn't include range training/time). That is still in effect September 1st, 2013.

Military, Veterans and Law Enforcement
HB 485 reduced the CHL fees required for veterans, members of the military, and peace officers. Those serving in the military or state guard still have no fees for CHL licensing. Honorably discharged more than 365 days is now $25.00 dollars rather than 50 percent off. Current Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees only need pay $25.00 for an original or renewal license.

HB 3370 provides a process for obtaining CHL's by current or former reserve law enforcement officers. They only need a letter from their department as required by DPS. Active police and reserves pay $25.00 for a license or renewal.

There has also been a change to the CHL card itself; when SB 164 becomes effective, veterans will receive a special designation on their CHL reflecting their status as a veteran.

Finger Printings, photos and Social Security Numbers
Another new law, pursuant to HB 698, concerns finger printing. People in a county of 46,000 people or less, with no facility with the capability to process digital or electronic fingerprints in a 25-mile radius, will have different rules applied to them, to be established by the Texas DPS.

Under 1349, which isn't effective until January of 2014, Texas DPS shall not request, and applicants are not required to provide, social security numbers for the purpose of issuing a CHL. Further, Texas DPS may not request or require social security numbers during the renewal process.

Effective immediately, HB 3142 does away with the "category" of firearm carrying. In other words, taking the test with a revolver or semi-automatic no longer matters, and whether you are licensed for semi-automatics or revolvers no longer dictates the type of firearm a CHL holder can carry.

Effective 6/18/13 TDPS will only use a CHL applicants driver's license or ID card photo. You can't submit photos for original or renewal any more. Only non-resident applicants can submit photo's as they don't have a Texas DL or ID.

Hotels
With the passing of HB 333, hotels will be required to tell its guests up-front of any restrictive firearms policies prior to booking the rooms. Furthermore, they must receive an affirmative acknowledgement of their firearm policy. In other words, they couldn't hide a TPC §30.06 notice in the second to last page of their impossible to find policy document without telling you about it.

Schools and Firearms
A few bills related to educational institutions and carrying did not survive (campus carry). However, the legislature has created an optional training program for employees of school districts, who are also CHL holders, to receive specific and appropriate training for their environment. SB 1857 lets the DPS establish a process to enable qualified handgun instructors to obtain an additional certification to instruct the school safety course, and outlines the requirements for a school safety course. This course can be provided by qualified instructors to CHL holders that are employees of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school. Note that this doesn't affect the fact that CHL holders need written authorization to carry in educational institution buildings.

SB 1907 makes it illegal for campuses to institute discipline policies against CHL holders having firearms in their vehicles in the parking lots or streets. Keep in mind, both before and after this bill, it was legal for a CHL holder to leave his firearm in the vehicle on a college campus; however, some campuses adopted rules that would allow them to take disciplinary action against students who brought firearms into these legal areas. Now, they have received explicit instructions to no longer try to side step the law by having stringent and restrictive policies on firearms in the vehicles of CHL holders. With all of this said, the statute does not provide a penalty for college campuses that violate the law, nor does it prescribe a remedy for those affected by campuses who ignore SB 1907. However a civil suit could be filed if a person were to be targeted by an educational institution for exercising a legal right.

Air Guns
SB1400, effective immediately, states that municipalities may no longer adopt regulations concerning the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, licensing, or registration of air guns. However, it grants the ability to regulate the discharge of air guns, the use of air guns in the case of riots or other insurrections, and the carrying of an air gun by a minor on public property, or private property without consent of the property owner. Counties may adopt regulations regarding the discharge of air guns on property 10 acres or less in the unincorporated area of the county in a subdivision.

Interestingly, a municipality may not regulate the carrying of an air gun by a CHL holder at public parks, public meetings of the municipality, county, or other governmental body, political rallies, or non-firearms related school, college, or professional athletic events. So, a CHL holder can carry a concealed air gun in places they can't carry an actual firearm.


Failure to Conceal
The current phrase of "intentionally failure to conceal" will be changed to "intentional display of the handgun" in plain view of another person in a public place based on SB 299. The statute is unclear as to how this changes the current law by failing to define what constitutes a "display" or "plain view of another person." Only time and the courts will show us how this change will affect us.

SB 299 also reconciles the "display" of a handgun with the use of force statutes by stating that the justification for use of force, not just deadly force, would be a defense to displaying the handgun. The law formerly limited justifiable failure to conceal to only those situations where the use of deadly force was justified. I highly recommend you refrain from brandishing a firearm unless deadly force could be used. There are other laws such a Deadly Conduct that can be filed on someone who points or threatens someone with a firearm if deadly force is not justified.

Knives
Finally, knife folks will be pleased to know that switchblades will no longer be a prohibited weapon under HB 1862. They will now be subject to the same regulations for all knives. Note that this law won't prohibit local government from regulating switchblade or automatic knives, because the Texas knife law pre-emption bill did not pass. If a municipality did have an ordinance concerning switchblade knifes it would only be a class C misdemeanor the equivalent of a speeding ticket. This has nothing to do with having a CHL. The carrying of a switchblade is legal in Texas but may not be legal in another state that honors a Texas CHL in fact almost all other states have strict laws mostly felonies that relate to the carrying of a switchblade knife. This is not effective until September 1st, 2013, so in the meantime it is still a felony to carry a switchblade off your private property.

Phil Ryan is a licensed Texas police firearms instructor, staff police academy instructor and CHL instructor since 1995. www.txconcealedcarry.com
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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Definitely not everything we were hoping for but there are some good changes in there.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:03 PM   #3
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Nice...little better!
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting this. I remember back to the days when the first proposals for CCW in Texas were being discussed and all of the anti gun alarmists were screaming about how we'd turn our state into the old west overnight with ignorant vigilantes gunning people down for nothing and blood running in the streets.

To appease them we started out with fairly restrictive CCW laws and of course they were proven wrong.

Change has been slow but steady in favor of gun rights here in the state and as long as we continue proving the fools wrong I think we can count on more of these positive changes.

The one thing that has concerned me most about the flood of immigrants from northern/eastern states moving here was that we might see a push back in the opposite direction but fortunately that has not been the case.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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So the main gist is renewals just got faster easier and cheaper, and I can carry my Benchmade after 01SEPT. Awesome, thanks for passing it on.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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Anything is progress, but what I am looking for is OC.
Soon than later am thinking we will get that through.


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Old 08-04-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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They need to get that knife pre-emption law passed. Leaving cities/municipalities to decide what they want only confuses the issue for the common citizen.

Otherwise, I'm happy with the changes, save slapping Veteran/Mil status on the licenses. Why is that necessary?
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GT Jon View Post
Otherwise, I'm happy with the changes, save slapping Veteran/Mil status on the licenses. Why is that necessary?
Is this optional? Or they are just doing it to "honor" vets?

Classification as a vet should left to the individual. Otherwise that 10% in society can take advantage of this.
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Devil Dawg View Post
Is this optional? Or they are just doing it to "honor" vets?

Classification as a vet should left to the individual. Otherwise that 10% in society can take advantage of this.
Probably the latter. Texas goes out of their way to honor and help veterans.
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT Jon View Post
They need to get that knife pre-emption law passed. Leaving cities/municipalities to decide what they want only confuses the issue for the common citizen.

Otherwise, I'm happy with the changes, save slapping Veteran/Mil status on the licenses. Why is that necessary?
The vet stamp would work really well since majority of DPS troopers are veterans.
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