HBA-ALS H.B. 1288 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1288 By: King, Tracy Public Safety 3/4/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, a juvenile probation officer (officer) is not authorized to carry a firearm while performing official duties. In recent years, the number of juveniles placed on probation has risen. Each juvenile who is placed on probation is assigned a certified probation officer who often travels to a juvenile's home to ensure the juvenile's compliance with a set curfew. There is a concern for the safety of these officers because they are sometimes required to travel alone and at night to various locations, some of which are in dangerous or isolated areas. H.B.1288 allows an officer to carry a firearm while discharging the officer's official duties, if certain proficiency and safety requirements are met. Under H.B. 1288, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education must adopt a memorandum of understanding specifying their responsibilities in establishing a basic firearm training program to educate officers about their legal limitations and the safe use of firearms. The bill requires the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education to administer the training program and issue firearm proficiency certificates to officers for successful completion of the program. H.B.1288 also allows the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education to establish reasonable and necessary fees for administering this program. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 141.066, Human Resources Code, as follows: Sec. 141.066. New Title: CARRYING OF FIREARMS BY CERTAIN PROBATION OFFICERS. Authorizes, rather than prohibits, a juvenile probation officer (officer) to carry a firearm while performing official duties if the officer is authorized by the county juvenile board and has been issued a certificate of firearms proficiency by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLOSE) pursuant to Section 415.039, Government Code. Makes nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 2. Amends Section 46.15(a), Penal Code, to provide that Sections 46.02 (Unlawful Carrying Weapons) and 46.03 (Places Weapons Prohibited) do not apply to an officer employed by the director of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission under Chapter 141, Human Resources Code (Texas Juvenile Probation Commission) or by a juvenile board under Chapter 142, Human Resources Code (Juvenile Probation Departments and Personnel). Provides that an officer is not prohibited by Sections 46.02 or 46.03 from carrying a firearm in this state if the officer is performing that officer's duties, is authorized to carry a firearm by the county juvenile board, and has been issued a certificate of firearms proficiency by TCLOSE under Section 415.039, Government Code. Provides that Sections 46.02 or 46.03 do not apply to a municipal court judge who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (License to Carry a Concealed Handgun), rather than under Article 4413(29ee) Revised Statutes (repealed, Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, 10.01(b)). Redesignates existing Subdivision (4) to Subdivision (5). Makes a nonsubstantive change. SECTION 3. Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 415, Government Code, by adding Section 415.039, as follows: Sec. 415.039. FIREARMS PROFICIENCY; JUVENILE PROBATION OFFICERS. (a) Requires the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission to adopt a memorandum of understanding that establishes their respective responsibilities in the development of a firearms basic training program for officers. Provides that the memorandum must establish a program which provides instruction relating to the officers' legal limitations, powers, and authority regarding firearm use; firearms' range firing, procedure, safety and maintenance; and topics that are determined to be necessary for an officer's responsible use of firearms by the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and TCLOSE. Requires the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and TCLOSE to adopt the memorandum that establishes a basic training program. Requires the TCLOSE to administer the training program and issue a certificate of firearms proficiency to each officer who successfully completes the program. Authorizes TCLOSE to establish reasonable and necessary fees for the administration of this section. SECTION 4. Requires TCLOSE and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission to adopt the memorandum of understanding no later than January 1, 2000. SECTION 5.Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.