Unlike two years ago when the Texas Legislature passed both “open carry” and “campus carry” gun bills, lawmakers this session have debated several pieces of gun rights legislation without much fanfare.
The Texas House over the weekend made it easier for gun owners to obtain so-called “silencers” in anticipation of legislation working its way through Congress. Buyers no longer would have to pay a $200 tax and wait up to six months under the federal Hearing Protection Act.
“Its still audible, its still loud, you can still hear it, it just takes that very sharp crack off the top which is where somebody's eardrum could get damaged from the sound,” says T. Edwid Walker with Texas Law Shield.
Walker says state lawmakers also cleaning up several previous laws, such as clarifying how roving gun-free zones work.
“A high school basketball team stops off at Whataburger for an after game meal, then technically you can consider the Whataburger to be the space of a school sponsored activity,” he says.
Bills offering limited immunity to businesses open to handgun licenses and protection for teachers who store their weapon in their car on school grounds also are awaiting votes.
“This is sort of a more normal year with just simply smaller scope statutes that do important things for people who are in those situations, and certainly the protection of and expansion of gun rights in any capacity is very important,” says Walker.