Texas House Committee Advances Gun Control Bill

Gun Rights

Call and Email Your State Representatives & Urge Them To OPPOSE HB 2744

Yesterday, the House Committee on Community Safety reported out House Bill 2744legislation which restricts the Second Amendment rights of young adults aged 18-20 by prohibiting them from purchasing most semi-automatic rifles. At age 18, citizens are eligible to vote, be drafted, serve in the military, serve on a jury, enter into contracts, sue and be sued, get married, and own property. Restricting their right to purchase and own firearms is unconstitutional and will not reduce crime. It is critical that you call and email your State Representatives TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE HB 2744! Click here to find your Representative.

NRA Opposes HB 2744

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  • The firearms banned for sale by the bill track the definition of “assault weapon” used by Biden’s appointee to ATF: “a semi-automatic rifle that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine and that has a caliber greater than .22.” This includes nearly EVERY modern sporting rifle.
  • The bill makes it a FELONY to sell, rent, lease, loan, or give a person who is under 21 years of age any semi-automatic rifle described in the bill. HB 2744 includes not just a ban on the commercial sales of any of these rifles to 18-20 year olds, but also the temporary loan, the temporary transfer of possession, and the gifting of these firearms to them, with limited exceptions. There is no express exemption for a temporary loan or transfer for self-defense or defense of property in cases where the transferor is not present or while on property that is not owned or leased by the transferor. There is no exception for an 18-20 year old traveling alone with described rifles to or from one of the permissible activities exempted in the bill.
  • The federal government has already instituted a 3-10-day federal waiting period for 18-to-20-year-olds purchasing firearms. During this period, the FBI is tasked with conducting a so-called “enhanced” background check on the prospective purchaser. This includes an examination of state juvenile records and contacting local law enforcement in the jurisdiction in which the purchaser resides.
  • In NYSRPA v. Bruen (2022), the U.S. Supreme Court prescribed a discrete test under which restrictions on the individual right to keep and bear arms are to be measured. In order for a firearm regulation to pass muster under the Second Amendment, the government must “identify a well-established and representative historical analogue.” Regarding prohibitions on young adults purchasing firearms, this cannot be done. There were no laws that restricted 18-to-20-year-olds from purchasing firearms at the time of the American founding.
  • It is clear from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) that 18-to-20-year-olds are part of “the people” referenced in the text of the Second Amendment. As the amendment protects “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” the rights of 18-to-20-year-olds fall under this protection.
  • Following the Bruen decision, a federal court in Texas struck down the state’s prohibition on 18-20-year-olds carrying a handgun outside the home for self-defense, citing both Heller and Bruen. These rulings are consistent with the American understanding of the age of majority and who constitutes the political community.
  • In 2019, Florida State University Professor of Criminology Gary Kleck published the research paper entitled “Regulating Guns Among Young Adults” in the American Journal of Criminal Justice. This study assessed the impact of state bans on gun carrying among persons ages 18-to-20-years-old on rates of murder, robbery, and aggravated assault. The results indicated no significant effect of these bans on any of the three violent crime rates. A second study assessed the impact of the federal ban on the purchase of handguns by persons ages 18-to-20. Results indicated there was no impact on the 18 to 20-year-old share of arrests for homicide, robbery, or aggravated assault.

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