H.B. No. 44 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to the creation of an offense to limit access by children 1-3 to certain firearms and to firearms safety education for 1-4 schoolchildren. 1-5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-6 SECTION 1. Chapter 46, Penal Code, is amended by adding 1-7 Section 46.13 to read as follows: 1-8 Sec. 46.13. MAKING A FIREARM ACCESSIBLE TO A CHILD. (a) In 1-9 this section: 1-10 (1) "Child" means a person younger than 17 years of 1-11 age. 1-12 (2) "Readily dischargeable firearm" means a firearm 1-13 that is loaded with ammunition, whether or not a round is in the 1-14 chamber. 1-15 (3) "Secure" means to take steps that a reasonable 1-16 person would take to prevent the access to a readily dischargeable 1-17 firearm by a child, including but not limited to placing a firearm 1-18 in a locked container or temporarily rendering the firearm 1-19 inoperable by a trigger lock or other means. 1-20 (b) A person commits an offense if a child gains access to a 1-21 readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal 1-22 negligence: 1-23 (1) failed to secure the firearm; or 1-24 (2) left the firearm in a place to which the person 2-1 knew or should have known the child would gain access. 2-2 (c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this 2-3 section that the child's access to the firearm: 2-4 (1) was supervised by a person older than 18 years of 2-5 age and was for hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes; 2-6 (2) consisted of lawful defense by the child of people 2-7 or property; 2-8 (3) was gained by entering property in violation of 2-9 this code; or 2-10 (4) occurred during a time when the actor was engaged 2-11 in an agricultural enterprise. 2-12 (d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under 2-13 this section is a Class C misdemeanor. 2-14 (e) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor 2-15 if the child discharges the firearm and causes death or serious 2-16 bodily injury to himself or another person. 2-17 (f) A peace officer or other person may not arrest the actor 2-18 before the seventh day after the date on which the offense is 2-19 committed if: 2-20 (1) the actor is a member of the family, as defined by 2-21 Section 71.01, Family Code, of the child who discharged the 2-22 firearm; and 2-23 (2) the child in discharging the firearm caused the 2-24 death of or serious injury to the child. 2-25 (g) A dealer of firearms shall post in a conspicuous 2-26 position on the premises where the dealer conducts business a sign 2-27 that contains the following warning in block letters not less than 3-1 one inch in height: 3-2 "IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN 3-3 UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY 3-4 TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM." 3-5 SECTION 2. Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, is 3-6 amended by adding Section 13B to read as follows: 3-7 Sec. 13B. COMMUNITY SUPERVISION FOR MAKING A FIREARM 3-8 ACCESSIBLE TO A CHILD. (a) A court granting community supervision 3-9 to a defendant convicted of an offense under Section 46.13, Penal 3-10 Code, may require as a condition of community supervision that the 3-11 defendant: 3-12 (1) provide an appropriate public service activity 3-13 designated by the court; or 3-14 (2) attend a firearms safety course which meets or 3-15 exceeds the requirements set by the National Rifle Association as 3-16 of January 1, 1995, for a firearms safety course that requires not 3-17 more than 17 hours of instruction. 3-18 (b) The court shall require the defendant to pay the cost of 3-19 attending the firearms safety course under Subsection (a)(2). 3-20 SECTION 3. Subchapter D, Chapter 21, Education Code, is 3-21 amended by adding Section 21.118 to read as follows: 3-22 Sec. 21.118. FIREARMS SAFETY PROGRAM. (a) A school 3-23 district may, and is strongly encouraged to, provide or participate 3-24 in a firearms safety program for students in grades kindergarten 3-25 through 12. A school district that provides a firearms safety 3-26 program shall consult with a certified firearms instructor before 3-27 establishing the curriculum for the program. 4-1 (b) A school district may not require a student to 4-2 participate in a firearms safety program if the district receives 4-3 written notice from a parent of the student to exempt the student 4-4 from the program. A school district that provides or participates 4-5 in a firearms safety program may not permit a student participating 4-6 in the program, while the student is on district property, to 4-7 handle a readily dischargeable firearm. 4-8 (c) The firearms safety program will meet the standards of 4-9 the National Rifle Association Eddie Eagle Children's Gun Safety 4-10 Course. 4-11 SECTION 4. This Act takes effect September 1, 1995. 4-12 SECTION 5. The importance of this legislation and the 4-13 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an 4-14 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the 4-15 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several 4-16 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.