Honorable Phil King, Chair, House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB514 by Simmons (Relating to the authority of certain personal protection officers to carry certain weapons.), As Introduced
The provisions of the bill addressing felony sanctions are the subject of this analysis. The bill would amend the Penal Code as it relates to the authority of certain personal protection officers to carry weapons. Under the provisions of the bill, certain personal protection officers would be allowed to carry weapons where prohibited if engaged in the actual discharge of duty. Under existing statute, possessing a weapon where prohibited is punishable as a third degree felony.
A third degree felony is punishable by confinement in prison for a term from 2 to 10 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
Expanding the list of individuals to whom a criminal penalty is not applied is expected to result in decreased demands upon the correctional resources of counties or of the State due to a potential decrease in the number of individuals placed under supervision in the community or sentenced to a term of confinement within state correctional institutions. In fiscal year 2016, 367 individuals were arrested, 23 were placed under felony community supervision, and 13 were admitted into state correctional institutions for possessing a weapon where prohibited under existing statute. The data collected at the statewide level for places where weapons are prohibited does not contain the detail necessary to isolate those individuals who were carrying a weapon while serving as a personal protection officer from all other individuals arrested and convicted for possessing a weapon where prohibited. This analysis assumes the provisions of the bill addressing felony sanctions would not result in a significant reduction on the demand for state correctional resources.