In recent years, many mass shootings have taken place at so-called "gun-free zones" like schools, churches, and movie theaters. In these places, only the shooter is armed and it can take several minutes for law enforcement to respond, which leaves victims exposed like sitting ducks. Now, one lawmaker is looking to change that. Michigan State Rep. Gary Eisen has introduced a bill that would make private owners of gun-free zones liable for injuries or deaths that occur on their properties. "This bill creates a cause of action," says Emily Taylor, Houston-based gun rights attorney. "So if a private business owner decides to ban firearms and then you're injured on their property, you can sue them."
Taylor tells KTRH she thinks the bill is a great idea. "I would love to see something like this in Texas," she says. "Of course, we've got a long way now until the next legislative session."
Texas lawmakers have expanded gun rights in recent sessions, including campus carry and new laws this year like one allowing concealed carry in churches or places of worship. But Taylor believes the pendulum may be swinging back toward gun restrictions, after this summer's mass shooting in El Paso. "There are House and Senate select committees meeting right now to look at how to potentially change our firearms laws in Texas to prevent mass shooters," says Taylor.
Still, a law like the one proposed in Michigan could happen down the road in Texas. "A bill which would create that cause of action for private business owners who ban guns is something that we should keep an eye out for in the 2021 (Texas legislative) session," says Taylor.