After several weeks of thunderstorms, tornados, and severe weather across East Texas, my heart goes out to the individuals and families who are mourning the loss of a loved one, or whose property was damaged by the storms. As we rebuild and recover, my family and I will continue to keep our fellow East Texans in our thoughts and prayers, and I would encourage you and yours to do the same. For anyone needing assistance, please don't hesitate to call either my Austin office at (512) 463-0508, or my district office in Lufkin at (936) 634-2762.
With that, here's an update from your State Capitol. . .
This week, the Texas House took decisive action on a number of bills that help protect our Second Amendment rights. One of the bills I'd like to highlight, House Bill 516, provides immunity to property or business owners who allow the carrying of handguns by a license holder on their property. Current law is unclear about whether liability applies to property owners who allow for open or concealed carry on their property, and this legislation would provide clear protections to those property and business owners who allow law-abiding gun owners to carry a weapon on their property. Another bill, House Bill 302, protects the rights of owners and tenants of residential units who lawfully possess firearms in their apartments or condominiums. Currently, an individual could be charged for unlawfully transporting a firearm from their car to their residence if the landlord displays a sign prohibiting firearms. As a lifelong gun-owner, I was proud to support both pieces of legislation that I believe will further protect the rights of Texans across the state.
Finally, I had the opportunity to present three bills in the House Committee on Land & Resource Management this week dealing with the ever-controversial topic of eminent domain. For private property owners facing condemnation of their land, the system can be challenging. Many landowners are unfamiliar with the full extent of their rights, much less the obligations of a condemning entity, and are often faced with a lot of uncertainty when approached by entities seeking to acquire property through eminent domain. All three bills deal with different stages of the process, from the initial meeting of the landowner and the condemning entity, all the way until taxes are due on land that has been taken. I believe these bills strengthen private property rights by empowering landowners with more information about their existing rights and the obligations of those wishing to conduct a survey. These bills level the playing field for all involved parties.
The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: May 1st from 9am - 11am at the Leon County Courthouse in Centerville or 1-:30pm - 3:30 pm at the Madison County Courthouse Annex in Madisonville; May 15th from 9am - 11:00am at the Houston County Courthouse in Crockett or from 1:30pm - 3:30pm at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton. You can also come see us on May 22nd from 9am - 11am at the San Augustine Courthouse in San Augustine.