Honorable Poncho Nevárez, Chair, House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety
John McGeady, Assistant Director Sarah Keyton, Assistant Director
Legislative Budget Board
HB2051 by Murr (relating to the carrying or possession of a handgun by certain retired judges and justices and certain other governmental officials.), Committee Report 1st House, Substituted
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 unlawful carry of a handgun by a license holder, unlawful carrying of weapons, and places weapons are prohibited. Under the provisions of the bill, certain retired judges and justices and certain other governmental officials would be added to the list of those who may exercise a defense to prosecution under current statute for certain weapons-related offenses. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor or a third degree felony, depending on premises type.
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. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in county jail for a term not to exceed one year and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $4,000.
Exempting certain individuals from prosecution is expected to result in fewer demands upon the correctional resources of the counties or of the State due to a 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 2018, 17 people were arrested, fewer than ten were placed onto felony community supervision, and fewer than ten were admitted into state correctional institutions for the weapons offenses addressed by the bill. A statewide repository containing the level of detail necessary to isolate those individuals who would be exempt from prosecution for these offenses from all other individuals sentenced to a term of supervision or confinement for these offenses is not currently available. This analysis assumes the provisions of the bill addressing felony sanctions would not result in a significant reduction in state correctional populations or the demand for state correctional resources.
WP, LM, DGi