SB 476

84(R) - 2015
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
10th Amendment
State Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Lois Kolkhorst


Charles Perry

Bill Caption

Relating to the duties of certain law enforcement officials under procedures regulating the making or transfer of firearms.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State.

Local Government Impact

The fiscal impact may vary based on size and resources of local law enforcement departments. For example, the Mineral Wells Police Department reported significant costs associated with implementing the provisions of the bill. The department would require an additional staff member and new office space for total cost of $101,619 for the first year. Approximately, $57,533 would be required for staffing, training, and equipment each year thereafter. Revenue generated from fees associated with certification would be insignificant.

Bill Analysis

SB 476 would require local chief law enforcement officers to sign off on applications for particular weapons that are classified as Class III (Restricted), such as short barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, and machine guns, within 15 days of receipt of application. Chief law enforcement officers would be able to deny the certification if they are able show that the applicant cannot legally own the firearm or if it would be used for an unlawful purpose. Notification would be required to be provided to the applicant and the denial could be appealed to the county district court.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Some law enforcement officers with authority to sign off on a Class III firearms application refuse to sign the application for no good reason because of their personal opposition to Class III weapons. SB 476 would help further protect an individual's civil rights guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution by preventing local law enforcement from making autonomous decisions on whether or not certain weapons should be owned by individuals. Government should protect the rights of the individual even against decisions of local government that infringe upon those rights.  Additionally, the bill does provide a way for law enforcement to deny the applicant if there is a legal basis to do so, which upholds the law of the land. This effectively makes the Class III application "shall issue" which means that unless the applicant is legally barred from owning such a weapon, the permit shall be issued.

SB 476 would affirm the principle of limited government, therefore we support this legislation.