Governor Greg Abbot has signed HB 1819 into law on May 26th, 2017. The law goes into effect on September 1. The law makes Texas safe for silencer ownership if/when the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) is passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. This is important because the Texas legislature only meets every two years.
The law removes silencers from the list of devices that are required to be on the BATF registry for NFA items, now only requiring that people who own, manufacturer, transport, repair, or sell silencers in Texas be in compliance with federal law.
or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:
(1) any of the following items, unless the item is
registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer
Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives or classified as a curio or relic by the United States
Department of Justice:
(A) an explosive weapon;
(B) a machine gun; or
(C) a short-barrel firearm; [or
[(D) a firearm silencer;]
(3) armor-piercing ammunition;
(4) a chemical dispensing device;
(5) a zip gun; [or]
(6) a tire deflation device; or
(7) a firearm silencer, unless the firearm silencer is
classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of
Justice or the actor otherwise possesses, manufactures,
transports, repairs, or sells the firearm silencer in compliance
with federal law.
(e) An offense under Subsection (a)(1), (3), (4), [or] (5),or
(7) is a felony of the third degree. An offense under Subsection (a)
(6) is a state jail felony. An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a Class A misdemeanor.
The definitions of the above items are already defined in Texas law, so there are no changes there. For example, armor-piercing ammunition only applies to pistol ammunition.
Some legislators in Texas are taking the passage of the HPA as a serious possibility.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.