Texas Bills Call for Ignoring Federal Gun Restrictions
There's been a lot of talk from Governor Greg Abbott lately about making Texas a "Second Amendment Sanctuary State", and at least two new bills introduced in the latest Texas legislative session are aimed at doing just that.
Texas House Bill 112 and Texas Senate Bill 541 would both call for withholding state funds from organizations that adopt policies calling for the enforcement of any federal gun restrictions enacted after January of 2021. If either bill receives a two-thirds vote in each chamber, it will go into effect immediately. If either passes with a weaker vote, it will go into effect on September 1 of this year.
Basically, these proposed laws are a signal to Washington that Texas is prepared to ignore any federal firearm restrictions enacted this year, including regulations concerning gun accessories, ammunition, or capacity, and that Texas law enforcement agencies will not assist federal authorities in enforcing them.
In a recent tweet, Governor Abbott cited a FOX News report that Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas' 18th District has proposed a new federal gun control bill titled the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act. (The act is named for a Pakistani exchange student killed in the May, 2018 mass shooting at Santa Fe High School.)
The bill would call for raising the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21, obtaining a license and insurance for gun and ammo purchases, undergoing a psychological evaluation, and registering purchased firearms with the federal government.
Certain caliber ammunition would also be outlawed or restricted. You can read the entire bill here.
Texas legislators, meanwhile, continue to push for a number of pro-gun bills, including measures that would end the need for Texans to have a License to Carry when in possession of a handgun and others that would expand the number of places where Texans can carry their weapons. These are listed in more detail here.
Late last year, it was reported that federal background checks for gun purchases reached a record high of over 32 million in 2020. While high gun sales aren't unusual for an election year, demand was so high last year that many areas experienced shortages of ammunition available for purchase.
If Texas passes legislation calling on state and local authorities to ignore federal gun restrictions, federal agents would still, of course, be able to enforce them, and attorney Emily Taylor with LawShield recently told our news partners at KWTX that the fed can "also use their purse strings to make us reverse course". Taylor said the "real fight" will come when states challenge federal gun restrictions on Constitutional grounds.
What do you think? Should Texas be able to opt out of enforcing any new federal firearm restrictions and requirements? Vote in our poll, then let us know your thoughts in the comments.