Texas House passes several bills that could mean arrest of judges that enforce federal firearms laws

I mentioned in January the press to prosecute state and local officials, including and specifically judges, who uphold federal firearms laws. On Monday May 6, two such bills were approved by the Texas House.

Texas’ HB 1076 specifies under subsection a the law applies to “the State of Texas, including… [a] court, or other entity that is in any branch of state government and that is created by the constitution or a statute of this state…” (emphasis added)

Subsection (b) prohibits any covered entity from adopting “a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity enforces or by consistent action allows the enforcement of, a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation enacted on or after January 1, 2013, that purports to regulate a firearm, a firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule, or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation, such as capacity or size limitation, a registration requirement, or a background check, that does not exist under the laws of this state.”

In addition “No entity described by Subsection (a) and no person employed by or otherwise under the direction or control of the entity may enforce or attempt to enforce any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation described by Subsection (b).”

Moreover, a judge that “knowingly enforces or attempts to enforce any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation described by Subsection (b) [is guilty of] a Class A misdemeanor.”

HB 1314 echoes many of the same elements of HB 1076: an official is guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor if the official “knowingly seizes a firearm as permitted or required by a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation that imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation on firearms that does not exist under the laws of this state.”

Both bills are now in the Senate but not yet assigned to a committee.

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