We are looking for this Committee to uphold the RPT Platform just passed last week
Please Attend if you Can. We must show up and let them know we are watching.
Rachel Malone has talking points and more information
What: Red Flag & Firearm Storage Hearing (Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, Texas Legislature)
When: Monday, June 25, 2018, 10am (expect it to last several hours)
Where: Texas Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave, Hearing Room E2.014
(Park in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage at 1201 San Jacinto – first 2 hours are free)
Threat Level: SEVERE
The committee will hear public testimony on the recently issued interim charges, including:
- the Red Flag proposal in which a family member or other person could report an individual as “potentially dangerous” and have them taken to court for possible firearm confiscation, and
- a change to firearms storage laws that makes it a criminal offense for an adult to make unloaded firearms accessible to 17-year-olds and carries with it harmful unintended consequences
Attend the hearing and register your position. Testify for 2 minutes or submit written testimony. You can do it even if it’s your first time!
When you arrive, go down the elevators in the North wing to level E2. From the elevators, walk down the corridor and you’ll see E2.014 on the left. Find the kiosks in the hallways behind the hearing room and register for the hearing. The TFF position is “AGAINST” these issues.
Expect the hearing to last several hours. You can register to give testimony as long as the hearing is still in progress. Typically witnesses are called in the order they register – register early if you want to go first! Oral testimony will likely have a 2-minute time limit. Pick one important point to make and tell a personal story or give statistics to emphasize that point. Written testimony is also best short and to the point.
Call each of the committee members and tell them you oppose the red flag proposal and oppose changes to firearm storage laws. You’ll talk to a staff member; ask them to pass the message along. Stay courteous — remember, an armed society is a polite society.
Chairman Joe Moody (D) – 512-463-0728
Vice Chair Todd Hunter (R) – 512-463-0672
Rep. Terry Canales (D) – 512-463-0426
Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D) – 512-463-0708
Rep. Cole Hefner (R) – 512-463-0271
Rep. Mike Lang (R) – 512-463-0656
Rep. Terry Wilson (R) – 512-463-0309
Red Flag Proposal:
This would allow family members and others to file a petition seeking removal of firearms from a person they believe is potentially dangerous.
- The Red Flag proposal is dangerous because it forces people into court of law without any probable cause of a crime having been committed.
- Our justice system is supposed to prosecute and punish people who have broken an actual law, not those who are thought to be likely to commit a crime in the future. Wading into predictive judicial action is very dangerous.
- Any hampering of the ability to keep and bear arms should only come through a criminal conviction or a professional diagnoses of a mental illness. Any other hindrance or barrier can be abused or misapplied.
- A vengeful relative who dislikes guns could report someone’s gun ownership with a personal opinion that they are unfit to own guns.
- This would set a dangerous precedent for lowering thresholds for stripping people of other Constitutional rights.
Firearms Storage Proposal:
Current law states that a person commits an offense if a child 16 or younger gains access to a loaded firearm and the person with criminal negligence failed to secure the firearm (see full law, Texas Penal Code 46.13). This proposal would raise the age to 17, raise penalties to a possible felony, and create an offense even for an unloaded firearm.
- It is the responsibility of gun owners to keep their firearms safe. Government mandating of firearm storage violates the principle of personal responsibility.
- This undermines parental rights in letting the parent determine responsibly how to teach their children firearm safety and allow access as they see fit.
- People have been charged under the current firearms storage law only 62 times since 1996, leading us to believe that this change would cause harm without adding any meaningful benefit.
- The proposed language does not just tie it to the home; it also would apply to vehicles.
- This could have the unintended consequence of reduced safety in hindering the ability of mature, responsible, trained youth from having much-needed access to firearms for personal defense when they’re home alone.
An alternative proposal:
We recommend ending gun free zones for law abiding Texans — the least expensive and most efficient way to harden schools and provide responsible adults a fighting chance at protecting themselves and students and mitigating harm from inevitable attempts at violence.
Instead of looking only at law enforcement-based solutions, look at reducing barriers for everyday Texans who are teachers and volunteers in schools to be able to carry a firearm if they choose. Let’s find solutions that increase safety without reducing freedom.