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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 302 would create a defense to criminal trespass, trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun, and trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun under certain circumstances. The actor must be an owner, tenant, or guest of an apartment or condominium. The actor must be carrying or storing a firearm or ammunition in the unit, carrying a firearm or ammunition directly en route to or from the unit, carrying a firearm or ammunition directly en route to or from the actor's vehicle located in a parking area for residents or guests, or carrying a firearm or ammunition in the actor's vehicle located in a parking area. These defenses would also apply to manufactured homes.
Additionally, this bill would prohibit certain types of residences from preventing unit owners, tenants, or guests from otherwise lawfully possessing, carrying, transporting, or storing a firearm or ammunition in the unit, vehicle located in a parking area for residents and guests, or in other common element locations necessary for entering or exiting the residence.
Texas Action supports HB 302 because it advances the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and property rights. If an owner or renter of a property could be charged with criminal trespass for transporting his firearm from his vehicle, which is his property, to his residence, also his property, because the building owner forbids possessing or transporting firearms, the gun owner would effectively lose his property rights and individual liberty to possess a firearm in his own home.
In addition, allowing individuals to be charged with criminal trespass for bringing their legal firearm from their vehicle to their residence would make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens. This bill prevents the criminalization of the normal exercise of 2nd Amendment civil rights in the situations it relates to. We strongly support this excellent legislation.