Today members of the House passed HB 1083 on a vote of 80 to 29. According to Rep. Andy Gipson who authored the bill, it will not add anything new to the current law on enhanced concealed carry laws, it would only allow for a procedure to be put in place if an individual is prohibited from carrying their firearm in a public location.
The bill ensures that a person who possess an enhanced conceal carry firearm license can carry that firearm on public property. If a person with this license is prohibited from carrying due to a rule, regulation, policy or written notice posted by an agency, this bill would give the license holder the right to file suit for declarative and injunctive relief against that agency. They must first notify the Attorney General in writing of a the violation with evidence.
One amendment was made by Gipson to include provisions for security teams listed under the Church Protection Act from a previous session.
The bill sparked debate from lawmakers who were concerned with allowing individuals to carry in places like University sporting events and courthouses.
Rep. Hines asked if someone with this license could carry inside the House Chamber, when Gipson responded that they could, Hines then asked what security was provided to ensure that lawmakers were not at serious risk. He also questioned the need to carry inside a large sporting event and what kind of danger that was putting people in, who choose not to carry.
“This is totally unnecessary. I thought allowing guns in a courthouse is absolutely ridiculous and shame on the chairman for bringing it out here,” said Rep. Holland from Lee County.
Rep. Gipson reiterated that this bill does not change the law. These laws were clarified in 2011 with HB 506. It was passed and voted in favor of by several representatives from districts now arguing against HB 1083. In that bill there was an emphasis on training so that those that hold these licenses have the right to protect themselves and their families.
“These are the safest people in our state when it comes t concealed carry. It’s been a law for seven years. You voted on it then, why not vote for it today?” said Rep. Gipson.
Rep. Wooten and Rep. Johnson sang similar tunes, calling for more regulated mental health checks on individuals who hold these licenses and to consider the mental capacity of the children who are able to obtain these firearms.
Gipson ensured that background checks are done, and criminal records are reported. Anyone who commits a crime after receiving the permit will have it revoked.
The bill passed 80-29.