Texas Governor Abbott Signs Tenants’ Gun Rights Bill

texas abbott tenants rights guns

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

By NRA-ILA

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday for signing NRA-backed legislation that protects tenants’ rights by prohibiting “no firearms” clauses in residential leases.

“The Supreme Court was clear in 2008 when it ruled the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to have firearms in their homes for self-defense,” said Tara Mica, Texas state director, NRA-ILA. “House Bill 302 is an important piece of legislation that ensures Texans’ fundamental rights are protected no matter where they live.”

The measure, House Bill 302, was sponsored by Rep. Dennis Paul and Sen. Bryan Hughes. It protects tenants’ rights to possess lawfully owned firearms and ammunition in dwelling units and on manufactured home lots. The bill also protects tenants’ rights to transport their firearms between their personal vehicles and those locations.

House Bill 302 will be a unique law among America’s 50 states. It was filed in response to tenants who alerted NRA-ILA and the Texas State Rifle Association about a growing number of lease provisions restricting firearm possession.

The new law will take effect on Sept. 1 and will only affect future lease agreements.

“The men and women of the NRA thank Rep. Paul and Sen. Hughes for sponsoring this key bill, as well as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen for prioritizing the measure. Protecting tenants’ Second Amendment rights is an important matter, and we’re pleased the Texas Legislature has taken the lead on addressing this issue,” Mica concluded.

comments

  1. Shouldn’t make any difference…Be it an “infringement” by a government entity or a private entity claiming Sovereign Immunity over another US citizen. If that wasn’t the case. Then you would have seen wide spread rampant infringements long time ago against Christians because a “Left-wing landlord or property management firm exclaimed a tenant CAN’T have a bible in THEIR rental unit because THEY don’t like it!” A lease is a two way street, you DON’T have to agree with $!#T ! I DON’T know about anyone else here…But if you came home and found a landlord or property management personnel in YOUR home, rummaging through your sock and underwear drawers…What do you think will be YOUR initial response?!?

  2. avatar barnbwt says:

    While the passage of Constitutional Carry would be nicer for *me*, it appears the Texas congress is working to arrange for the eventual bluing of substantial areas of the state, and limit their influence on gun policy. Forbidding tenants from owning guns is something that an astroturf tactic of the sort Bloomberg loves, could inflict on corporate property managers or even as a popular campaign to essentially deny those in urban areas the right to keep firearms. For those folks, Constitutional Carry would be cold comfort, since the only weapons they could posses would have to remain off site (possibly not even in their vehicles depending on the parking lot rules)

    Passage of such a bill on the federal level when we had the chance, would have been a watershed victory (and would have almost certainly forced a definitive SCOTUS ruling on the issue by now)

  3. avatar The Huscarl says:

    I thought it wasn’t possible to sign away a Constitutional right. What makes this law necessary?

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      boom goes the dynamite… again… and again… and again….

      SHALL. NOT. BE. INFRINGED.

    2. avatar Anner says:

      Government infringement of the Bill of Rights is unconstitutional. Events, contracts, or restrictions on private property are wholly the business of the two parties dealing in an agreement, unless it results in some illegal externality.

      Example: a private company can regulate or forbid speech of some type that it doesn’t like. Twitter, FaceBook, etc do this on a regular basis. 100% legal, regardless of anyone’s opinion on how good, bad, or politically oriented the speech was.

      This law is a unique legal push in favor of 2A rights, and it’s an outstanding move.

    3. avatar Cory C. says:

      Respectfully, that’s incorrect. People sign away constitutional rights all the time and we regard it as perfectly normal. For instance, if you become a lawyer, you waive the right to free speech in a wide variety of circumstances. If you have a Netflix account, an iPhone, most employment contracts, etc., you have waived your 7th Amendment right when you agreed to binding arbitration. Likewise, when you join the military you waive all manner of constitutional rights. In fact, the Constitution specifically addresses contracts and says that no state can pass a law that impairs the obligation of contracts.

      Moreover, the purpose of the Constitution is to enjoin the government from doing bad stuff to you. It is not to enjoin you from agreeing voluntarily to have bad stuff done to you.

      Again, no disrespect intended. Additionally, all that notwithstanding, I find the idea of a landlord trying to dictate whether one can own a gun or not utterly repulsive.

      1. avatar Alan Gooch says:

        That falls into a none of your business category!!

    4. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      I got an e mail about this from TSRA bragging on the passage of this bill and our governor signing it. I replied that I will brag when the TSRA, and governor get behind the bill # 357 which would allow constitutional carry and remove one of the carpetbagger laws imposed a hundred years ago. But since these people are content with jumping thru hoops of regulations to get a permission slip to exercise a constitutional right already granted, I guess this will be difficult to do. Common sense would tell people what ” shall not infringe ” means.

  4. avatar B.D. says:

    California:
    “…Alleged Invader…”

    Texas:
    “….Criminal with a death wish…”

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    What makes ANY law necessary?!? Government goons hate gun right’s…on a lighter note! Just saw John Wick Parabellum. 5 stars for mayhem…wonderful movie! Taran Butler trained the hell out of Halle Berry😄😊😏

    1. avatar billy-bob says:

      Did you happen to count the press checks? Think I’ll wait for the DVD and make a drinking game of it.

  6. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Let’s see? You can’t discriminate against renters based on sex, race, or religion but it would be okay to discriminate against people who own a Constitutionally legal product? That makes sense. If you don’t like Fords in your parking lot you can discriminate against people who drive them? Or red clothing?

  7. avatar MikeJH121 says:

    And the lefties get “triggered” once again…. seems even the naysayers and the “have problems with the NRA” crowd including the semi FUDD”s (guns good NRA has got to go) yet they keep fighting for us more often than not.

  8. avatar Stupid Prizes says:

    Does this protection extend to residents of Sober living houses, 3/4 houses, and Halfway houses where the current rules prohibit guns?

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      There’s still the felony possession stuff, which probably hits most of those folks (and their roommates)

  9. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Leases are private agreements between consenting parties. Don’t like the terms? Don’t sign the lease. Take your business elsewhere. This is none of the givernment’s or the Governor’s business.

    The POTG don’t like government trampling on individual rights, unless the government is trampling on someone else’s rights to the POTG’s benefit. That’s intellectually dishonest.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      There’s a host of rules regarding the conduct of landlords to tenants. For example, they’re required to keep the lights on & the power running. Whether you like it or not is immaterial, it’s the agreement we’ve agreed upon to prevent highly predatory & dangerous living arrangements from springing up. Social contract.

      “Don’t like living in a dark sewer with no fire system? Take yer business elsewhere! Late on your last mortgage payment? The house is ours now, get the hell out!”

      BTW, these sorts of precautionary laws are how gun owners will eventually be recognized (again, for the first time in over a century) as a legally protected class of citizen who cannot be discriminated against. No different than a law against restricting tenants to whites only. If private companies can’t discriminate, it’s much harder for the government to, either.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      That’s a very myopic view. There are higher laws than property.

      No one has the right to deprive another person of either God-given or constitutionally protected rights as a condition of a contract.

      1. avatar Yes Sarge says:

        Tell that to the military

        1. avatar Anner says:

          100% volunteer force. Again, a contract that anyone today can research for free prior to signing up.

          14+yrs of wearing a uniform and I have a slew of complaints, but your nonsense comment isn’t one of them. In fact, at multiple bases (including mine) any concealed carry permit holder can have a handgun in their vehicle to enable them to carry once off base.

    3. avatar Ralph says:

      “Leases are private agreements between consenting parties.”

      Yes. And the landlord will use the power and weapons of the State to enforce them. So private parties create their own rules and the State enforces them even though the State could not itself make those rules. Is that what you want?

      SCOTUS ruled in Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) that while racially-based restrictive covenants are not themselves unconstitutional, enforcement of the covenants is, because State enforcement of racially-based restrictive covenants violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

      Would you have the 2nd Amendment treated with less deference that the 14th? Really?

      1. avatar JimB says:

        One of the jobs of government is to enforce contracts. So yes, I do want the state to enforce voluntary contracts with their powers and weapons. No one forces you to sign the contract. If you breach it, then a party has been wronged. It doesn’t matter if you’re the landlord or the tenant, if either party breaches the terms of the contract that they both agreed to, then the other party can seek recorse through the legal system.

        Moreover, the state enforcing an antigun covenant does not infringe on your 2nd amendment rights. The 2nd amendment states that the government cannot infringe on your right to keep and bear arms. When the state enforces an anti gun covenant, it is not depriving you of that right, it is just saying that you can’t own guns here on this private private property (per the terms of the lease that you agreed to). This is the same as if you enter a private property with a “no guns allow” sign with a gun on you and when the property owner finds out, they ask you to leave. If you refuse and the police shows up to trespass you, are they infringing on your right to keep and bear arms? Of course not. This issue concerns property rights and contracts. Nothing to do with the 2nd amendment.

  10. avatar Jason says:

    My mother pulled her glock 34 on her land lord when he entered without knocking to replace the air filter. He was shaken a bit to say the least but he didn’t have a problem with her owning a gun. Luckily he was standing in front of her glock so he wouldn’t be hurt. If would have been to either side then he could have been a dead man.

  11. avatar Estell says:

    It’s great that someone realizes we have to be able to protect ourselves no matter where we are.

  12. avatar DallasRenter says:

    This is great news. It’s quite difficult to find a newer apartment in Dallas without a “no guns” clause in the lease. Many are zero tolerance/automatic eviction.

    (Granted, thanks to such restrictions and nosy apartment staffers, I now have a respectable collection of repurposed tennis racket and musical instrument cases; as well as a cleverly-disguised, full-size gun safe.)

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    There are usually several choices in apartment living and onelandlord could take advantage of another landlord by allowing guns. The people who chose to live disarmed in a build g known to be gun free can take their chances too.
    It’s nice they didn’t ban guns instead like HUD did but a market solution would of been better.

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