BILL ANALYSIS H.B. 1268 By: Johnson 04-27-95 Committee Report (Unamended) BACKGROUND The Texas Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State. The constitution also delegates the power to regulate by law, the wearing of firearms to the Legislature "with a view to prevent crime." In this regard, the Legislature has limited the class of persons authorized to carry weapons. Section 46.02 of the Penal Code creates an offense for "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" carrying on or about his person a "handgun, illegal knife, or club." This prohibition does not address the carrying of rifles or shotguns. Section 46.02 of the Penal Code lists the persons or situations excluded from the prohibition against carrying a weapon. The following persons or situations are allowed to carry weapons: (1) a member of the armed forces or state military forces defined by Section 431.001; (2) on his own premises or premises under his control; (3) traveling; (4) engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity; and (5) a security officer or traveling to and from his place of assignment; or (6) a peace officer. PURPOSE To allow parole officers to carry weapons. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill expressly grants additional rulemaking authority to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education in conjunction with the pardons and paroles division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Section 2. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 46.02(b) of the Penal Code by adding a new subsection (7) which exempts an parole officer from the prohibition against the carrying of weapons, provided that the parole officer is employed by the pardons and paroles division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and is authorized by the department to carry a weapon. The parole officer must also possess a certificate of firearm proficiency issued by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. SECTION 2. Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 415 of the Government Code to add a new Section 415.038 which requires the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education and the pardons and paroles division of the TDCJ to adopt/develop a training program for certification of parole officers. The commission is allowed to establish fees for the administration of the section. SECTION 3. States that the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education and the pardons and paroles division of the TDCJ shall adopt the memorandum of understanding required by this Act not later than January 1, 1996. SECTION 4. Declares an emergency and suspends the rules. SUMMARY OF COMMITTEE ACTION H.B. 1268 was considered by the committee in a public hearing on March 21, 1995. The bill was referred to the subcommittee on "Right to Carry"; a subcommittee consisting of Representatives Alan, Bailey, and Carter. H.B. 1268 was considered by the subcommittee on "Right to Carry" in a public hearing on March 27, 1995. The following person testified for the bill: Howard Gavin, representing TDCJ. The bill was left pending. After being recalled from subcommittee the bill was considered by the committee in a formal meeting on April 25, 1995. The bill was reported favorably without amendment, with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed, by a record vote of 7 ayes, 0 nays, 1 pnv, 1 absent.