The dust is still settling from the election, but Democrats are wasting no time in pushing ahead with their gun control agenda. Joe Biden has already pledged a new weapons ban if he takes office, and now Texas Democrats are filing a slew of anti-gun bills ahead of the legislative session that begins in January.
Of the 36 gun-related bills filed in the first week of the early-filing period, all but eight were from Democrats. "There are bills to ban certain types of firearms, bills to ban certain standard capacity magazines," says Edwin Walker, attorney with Texas Law Shield. "They like to call them 'high capacity,' but they are not...they are standard capacity magazines."
Among the anti-gun bills is one from state Rep. Terry Meza (D-Irving) that would repeal the state's castle doctrine, or stand-your-ground law. "They want to make it necessary that every Texan has to retreat before they can use deadly force, whenever they're confronted with a potential murderer or sexual assault," says Walker.
One of the controversies from last session is back, as Democrats have filed new bills on so-called red flag laws, a.k.a. extreme risk protection orders (ERPO). "They want for a judge to be able to take away someone's firearms based on this undefined standard, dangerous conduct," says Walker. "Without any definition, qualification, or description about what dangerous conduct is or is not."
Republicans still control both chambers of the Texas Legislature and the governor's mansion, so most of these anti-gun bills are likely headed nowhere. But Walker thinks they are a warning to voters and Republican officeholders about the Democrats' agenda, if they ever do get control. "During last year's campaign, you had Beto O'Rourke out there saying that hell yes, he is going to take away our guns," says Walker. "This is a manifestation of that."