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Recent Gun Violence and How it May Impact Texas Laws

Published: Sep 01, 2016 in Criminal Defense, Weapons Crimes

The U.S. has seen a significant amount of gun violence in recent years, from police-involved violence to mass shootings. As violence continues, people rightfully ask whether there will be changes to current Texas gun laws. You may even hear about a number of proposed laws during the next Texas legislative session. If you are wondering how Texas gun laws apply to you, or if you have been charged with a gun-related offense, contact Houston criminal defense attorney Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767.

Recent Gun Violence

Texas sees its fair share of gun violence each year. In 2014, there were 1,187 murders in Texas, and 63.3 percent of them included the use of a firearm, according to the Texas Crime Analysis from the Texas Department of Public Safety. There were 65,338 aggravated assaults reported that year, and 24.2 percent of them involved a firearm. The Texas Department of State Health Services reported there were 3,492 trauma hospitalizations due to firearms in 2014.

Texas also consistently sees gun violence on a larger scale. In 2015, there were 19 shootings in Texas that killed or injured multiple people, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Four of these incidents killed four or more people.

So far in 2016 there have been 17 shootings with multiple victims. Two shootings killed four or more people. A shooting in Dallas in July resulted in five people dead and nine injured.

A History of Texas Gun Laws

In the past couple of decades, Texas has worked to expand gun ownership rights for its citizens. As a state known for its full support of the Second Amendment, Texas citizens are able to carry their handguns with them throughout the state with the proper license. A brief history of Texas gun laws includes the approval of:

  • Concealed carry of handguns with a license, effective September 1, 1995
  • Open carry of a handgun with a license, effective January 1, 2016
  • Concealed carry on college campuses with a license, effective August 1, 2016

While many individuals follow Texas gun laws closely and own firearms with no intent to cause anyone harm, recent gun violence has made some people question whether Texas laws will change.

Will the Violence Alter Texas Gun Laws?

There are talks of expanding Texas’ citizens’ gun rights. As recently as June of this year, state lawmakers were discussing expanding the areas where people can take their firearms. Texas currently prohibits carrying a gun into an establishment that makes 51 percent or more of its business from alcohol. Since the shooting in an Orlando night club, pro-Second Amendment organizations are calling for a repeal of this ban.

Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) submitted a bill last session to get rid of the need for licenses to carry handguns. It didn’t pass, but Huffines has plans to file another bill to expand the Second Amendment in Texas.

Contact Us For Help

If you accidentally brought a gun where you shouldn’t, didn’t have the proper license, or were charged with an offense without having done anything wrong, contact the experienced gun crimes defense attorney Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767. Ned Barnett has decades of experience as a Houston criminal defense attorney and will aggressively defend your Second Amendment rights in court.