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Texas House Committee Hears Bills on Civil Liability Protections for Businesses That Allow Handguns
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:50 AM

The Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee heard three bills on Tuesday. The bills offer immunity from civil liability for businesses and property owners that allow handguns to be carried on the premises by licensed gun holders.

HB 447 by Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia) provides immunity to a business for damages arising from the lawful carrying of a handgun on the premises. As originally filed, it would have also held a business liable for damages that could have been prevented by the lawful use of a handgun if that business forbids gun carry on the premises, but the author will offer a committee substitute that removes this provision.

HB 497 by Matt Rinaldi (R-Dallas) and HB 606 by Drew Springer (R-Gainesville) also provide immunity from civil liability for a business or person that permits lawful carry of a handgun on the premises. Liability for an injury caused by the person’s gross negligence is not limited.

Testimony on the bills focused on two primary areas. There was concern that the liability language was too broad and should be narrowed to specify that a cause of action would be based solely on the decision to prohibit or allow lawful carry of handguns. The other area of concern was giving protection to businesses that allow handguns and possibly incentivizing businesses to allow them rather than prohibit them.

All the bills were left pending.

For more information, please contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop.