The caption to both HB 25 by Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) and HB 77 by Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) read the same:
Relating to the carrying of certain weapons in watercraft; and effectively they are the same.
Both bills allow eligible, law-abiding Texans to have a handgun in their boat, and to go directly to and directly from their boat, and all without a concealed handgun license. Both HB 77 and HB 25 make changes to Penal Code 46.02.
You might recall TSRA worked with NRA to modify this section of the Penal Code to allow Texans to have a handgun in their car without a license. This was the fix to the old traveling exemption. Currently eligible Texans may have in their motor vehicle, or a vehicle under their control, what they have in their home, their travel trailer, RV, or the dressing room of their stock trailer.
For the purposes of this legislation: “Watercraft” is defined as any boat, motorboat, vessel, or personal watercraft, other than a seaplane on water, used or capable of being used for transportation on water.
Bill passage would allow an eligible, unlicensed adult to possess a loaded handgun on their boat,but the protection is not as clear or as broad as with a concealed handgun license.
The passage of HB 25 by Guillen or HB 77 by Flynn will be another major step in the right direction for personal safety. This time on the large, remote lakes and rivers of Texas.
So will the Legislature add your boat to the list?
Go to www.legis.state.tx.us for Texas Legislature On Line and type in HB 25 or HB 77. Click on the “legislation” to read the bill, click on the House for contact information for House members.
Thank Rep. Guillen and Rep. Flynn for filing legislation aimed at protecting Texas sportsman on the water.
Remember to join, renew, or upgrade your TSRA membership at www.tsra.com or call the hotline at 800-462-8772. We’re the NRA state affiliate with 40,000 Texas members.