Bill Requiring Hotels to Allow Guests to Store Guns in Rooms Passes Texas Legislature

Bill Requiring Hotels to Allow Guests to Store Guns in Rooms Passes Texas Legislature

Today, the Texas House passed a bill to let guests carry their weapons in hotels. Senate Bill (SB) 20 would forbid hotels from prohibiting firearms. Hotels would keep the power to require concealment of weapons, but they would have to let their customers carry and store their weapons in their rooms. Debate arose over the state’s authority to regulate how property owners run their buildings. State Rep. Rafael Anchía (D-Dallas) said that the bill would hamper private property rights and compared the Second Amendment to the First Amendment, noting that the state lets hotels prohibit certain acts of speech like loud music. In response, Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mt. Pleasant) said guests have an expectation that their rented rooms become their “domain” during their time there, and responsible gun-owning guests should be allowed to take their weapons in from their cars. Other concerns included a potential economic impact. Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-San Marcos) and other critics theorized that the bill could harm the hospitality industry. Hefner brushed off these questions, saying gun freedoms outweighed hypothetical fiscal dents in the hotel economy. A few Democrats joined Republicans in the final 81 to 62 vote, according to the unofficial results. Reps. Alma Allen (D-Houston), Terry Canales (D-Edinburg), Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), and Eddie Morales (D-Eagle Pass) all voted for the measure. Canales, Guillen, and Morales also voted for constitutional carry . SB 20 is not the only modest expansion of weapons rights to see some Democratic support. One bill by Rep. […]

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