HB 1177 passed the Senate by a single vote. This bill allows residents to temporarily carry a gun without a permit while complying with a mandatory evacuation order. Those carrying a gun without a permit would be limited to 168 hours after an evacuation order during a state of disaster.
Numerous gun rights organizations, such as the National Rifle Association, supported the bill. However, anti-gunners lined up against it, including every Democrat in the Texas Senate. Several Republicans in the Senate also opposed the bill. The Senate version allowed 48 hours and required concealed carry. The version that came out of the conference committee also gives emergency shelters the authority to allow weapons on site.
The other bill concerns gun storage safety in the Lone Star State. It was actually passed as part of a $250 billion spending bill. The GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill Sunday night, according to Fox News. The bill creates a $1 million public safety campaign on gun storage.
Will Gov. Abbott Sign Texas Gun Bills?
Gov. Abbot has not stated whether or not he will sign these two bills. Typically, he has supported gun rights. In fact, he signed a bill earlier this month that prevents residential leases from banning firearms. However, he has claimed he would support promoting gun safety. The proposal gained support after the Santa Fe High School shooting in which the shooter stole the guns from his father. Individual bills to create a safe storage campaign never made it to the House or Senate floors for a vote.
With HG 1177, he would have to either sign or veto it. Over the last decade, the Texas legislature has expanded gun rights. In regard to gun storage in the budget bill, Abbott has the ability to do a line-item veto, which would strike it from the bill.
Some might debate the need for a gun storage campaign, while others feel it is needed. Of course, gun advocates claim that numerous gun manufacturers, as well as pro-gun groups, already have safe storage programs.