Texas Law Shield recently alerted gun owners about SB 437, a law slated to go into effect in September that extends protections for Class 3 devices such as short-barreled rifles (SBRs), suppressors, and “any other weapons,” as defined by the National Firearms Act.
Along with heavily covered Open Carry and Campus Carry legislation, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott also signed into law SB 473, by Texas State Reps. John Frullo and Charles Perry. The measure amends Texas Penal Code section 46.05, which deals with Prohibited Weapons.
U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield President Kirk Evans said, “Formerly, it was a ‘defense to prosecution’ if a person was charged with possession of NFA items, such as a silencer or machine gun, and the item was properly registered pursuant to the National Firearms Act. Unfortunately, owners of such weapons could be forced deeply into the legal process before establishing legal ownership of certain items under Texas law.” Evans said the amended language of the statute makes clear that possession of these devices is legal if the class 3 device is registered with BATFE, and removes the “defense to prosecution” language. SB 473 will take effect on Sept. 1, 2015.
Specifically, Sections 46.05(a) and (e), are amended to read that: A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells those items listed above “unless the item is registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or classified as a curio or relic by the United States Department of Justice.” Evans pointed out that while Texans who own NFA items are the biggest beneficiaries, he noted that gun owners from other states likewise will enjoy better legal protections if they want to bring their Class 3 items—such as suppressors—into the state to hunt.