On June 17, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 2622, the “Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act.” In passing this bill, Texas joins the states of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming which have all passed legislation of their own in support of the Second Amendment. Texas has now become the 15th state to pass such legislation.
H.B. No. 2622
relating to the enforcement of certain federal laws regulating firearms, firearm accessories, and firearm ammunition within the State of Texas.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act.
SECTION 2. Chapter 1, Penal Code, is amended by adding Section 1.10 to read as follows:
Sec. 1.10. ENFORCEMENT OF CERTAIN FEDERAL LAWS REGULATING FIREARMS, FIREARM ACCESSORIES, AND FIREARM AMMUNITION. (a) In this section:
(1) “Ammunition” has the meaning assigned by Section 229.001, Local Government Code.
(2) “Firearm” has the meaning assigned by Section 46.01.
(3) “Firearm accessory” means an item that is used in conjunction with or mounted on a firearm but is not essential to the basic function of the firearm. The term includes a detachable firearm magazine.
(4) “State funds” means money appropriated by the legislature or money under the control or direction of a state agency.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, an agency of this state, a political subdivision of this state, or a law enforcement officer or other person employed by an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state may not contract with or in any other manner provide assistance to a federal agency or official with respect to the enforcement of a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation that:
(1) imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation that does not exist under the laws of this state; and
(2) relates to:
(A) a registry requirement for a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition;
(B) a requirement that an owner of a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition possess a license as a condition of owning, possessing, or carrying the firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition;
(C) a requirement that a background check be conducted for the private sale or transfer of a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition;
(D) a program for confiscating a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition from a person who is not otherwise prohibited by the laws of this state from possessing the firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition; or
(E) a program that requires an owner of a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition to sell the firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition.
(c) Subsection (b) does not apply to a contract or agreement to provide assistance in the enforcement of a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation in effect on January 19, 2021.
(d) A political subdivision of this state may not receive state funds if the political subdivision enters into a contract or adopts a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the political subdivision requires or assists with the enforcement of any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation described by Subsection (b) or, by consistent actions, requires or assists with the enforcement of any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation described by Subsection (b). State funds for the political subdivision shall be denied for the fiscal year following the year in which a final judicial determination in an action brought under this section is made that the political subdivision has required or assisted with the enforcement of any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation described by Subsection (b).
(e) Any individual residing in the jurisdiction of a political subdivision of this state may file a complaint with the attorney general if the individual offers evidence to support an allegation that the political subdivision has entered into a contract or adopted a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the political subdivision requires or assists with the enforcement of any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation described by Subsection (b) or evidence to support an allegation that the political subdivision, by consistent actions, requires or assists with the enforcement of any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation described by Subsection (b). The individual must include with the complaint the evidence the individual has that supports the complaint.
(f) If the attorney general determines that a complaint filed under Subsection (e) against a political subdivision of this state is valid, the attorney general may file a petition for a writ of mandamus or apply for other appropriate equitable relief in a district court in Travis County or in a county in which the principal office of the political subdivision is located to compel the political subdivision to comply with Subsection (b). The attorney general may recover reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining relief under this subsection, including court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, investigative costs, witness fees, and deposition costs.
(g) An appeal of a suit brought under Subsection (f) is governed by the procedures for accelerated appeals in civil cases under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. The appellate court shall render its final order or judgment with the least possible delay.
(h) The attorney general shall defend any agency of this state in a suit brought against the agency by the federal government for an action or omission consistent with the requirements of this section.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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