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Summary: Current law allows an individual to use force against another in a circumstance of self-defense. However, parties note that a defendant who is a convicted felon could illegally possess and use a firearm against another and claim self-defense. SB 1416 would prohibit a convicted felon who illegally possesses a firearm from claiming self-defense.
Analysis: There are more than 2300 felonies in the criminal code in Texas. There are many felonies which are of a nonviolent nature, and arguably should not be felonies to begin with. For instance, it is a felony to harvest oysters for non-commercial purposes without a license. We do not support overly broad laws that deny constitutional rights to people convicted of otherwise minor offenses on the arbitrary basis that the offense was designated as a felony. Though it would be outside of the scope of this legislation, the Legislature should examine whether it is appropriate to take away second amendment rights for all felons or if those rights should only be abridged for the commission of certain felonies.
This legislation neither uplifts nor offends our liberty principles. We are neutral on this legislation.