The Texas House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety heard several bills Tuesday on gun restrictions – and also heard opposition to and support for them.
Gun safety, suicide prevention
HB 631 by Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, would have the state Department of Public Safety create information on firearm safety for children and suicide prevention.
The Texas State Rifle Association notes that the state already has two state agencies with children's firearm safety programs -- Texas Parks and Wildlife's Hunters Education Program, which reaches about 1,000 young people each year with information on firearms safety and hunting ethics; and AgriLife, which offers 4-H Shooting Sports – as well as other programs around the state.
Suicide “is certainly not directly related to firearms,” the TRSA states. “All suicide programs need to be community and family based and tied directly to mental health-care providers, not simply a link and a message on the DPS website.” Instead, the group points to suicide prevention brochures offered by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and National Shooting Sports Foundation.
HB 2655 by Rep. Pancho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass, addresses prosecution for the unlawful transfer of a firearm.
The TRSA argues that federal law is sufficient – and that the bill may unfairly people who loan a family member a firearm to hunt.
Weapons in airports
HB 3057 by Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, relates to possessing a weapon in the secured area of an airport. The bill removes the word "terminal" and what the boundaries of a "secured area” of an airport would be.
“Does this include the tarmac and general aviation -- hunters flying their own planes, a small airport and pilot crossing the country with their licensed handgun? ” – the TRSA argues in a statement opposing the bill. “Does this mean the airport parking lot, the driveways, and the car rental area?”