Monday, March 11, 2013

Proposed Texas Law Mandates Labels On Firearms

A bill proposed in the Texas State House of Representatives would force all new firearms sold or transferred in or into the State of Texas to come with warning labels.

According to H.B. 1747, the labels would contain the maximum range and maximum effective range for new firearms and ammunition imported into the state or sold within the state.

Warning labels have become commonplace in our country, to the point that they often times state overtly obvious facts that should be determined by common sense.

For example, eggs now contain allergy warnings that they contain eggs. This warning appears on nutritional labels, also mandated on eggs.



In contrast, these warning labels on firearms do not infringe upon any Second Amendment protection. What they will do is provide responsible firearms owners with readily available facts they should use.

The proposed warning labels would include the maximum distance a bullet would travel should the shooter miss the intended target. This information is important in attempting to limit collateral damage and accidental or negligent injury to non-targets. That makes sense.

Furthermore, the labels could help combat an irresponsible and dangerous practice some engage in:  celebratory fire. The simple concept so many fail to recognize is that the laws of gravity apply to bullets. What goes up must eventually come down. With celebratory fire, those rounds can come down harming or killing innocents.

Here is the bill's text:


 H.B. No. 1747
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
  relating to a packaging notice for new firearms and firearm ammunition; imposing a criminal penalty.
 
       BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
 
       SECTION 1.  Title 6, Business & Commerce Code, is amended by adding Chapter 205 to read as follows:
 
CHAPTER 205. FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
 
       Sec. 205.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
 
             (1)  "Firearm" has the meaning assigned by Section 46.01, Penal Code.
 
             (2)  "Package" means a box or container holding a good or product for sale or sold to an end user.
 
       Sec. 205.002.  APPLICABILITY. This chapter applies only to a firearm or ammunition for a firearm manufactured on or after September 1, 2014.
 
       Sec. 205.003.  MANUFACTURER NOTICE: NEW FIREARM.  A manufacturer of a firearm may not sell in this state, or ship into this state for sale or resale or in connection with a sale, a new firearm unless the firearm's package includes, in bold font equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text, a notice disclosing the maximum distance a projectile travels when fired from the firearm.
 
       Sec. 205.004.  MANUFACTURER NOTICE: FIREARM AMMUNITION. A manufacturer of firearm ammunition may not sell in this state, or ship into this state for sale or resale or in connection with a 
sale, ammunition for a firearm unless the ammunition's package includes, in bold font equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text, a notice disclosing the maximum distance a projectile from the ammunition travels when fired from a firearm.
 
       Sec. 205.005.  CRIMINAL PENALTY.   
        (a)  A person who violates this chapter commits an offense.
 
       (b)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.
 
       SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.


This is the sort of information responsible, law-abiding citizens can use. The only argument against this bill concerns the increased costs to manufacturers and dealers.

However, most people understand that eggs do contain egg.