Bringing a gun to the airport under any circumstances is a 3rd degree felony in Texas, a penalty that one legislator called a “massive inconvenience.”
Under the new law, CHL holders who are stopped by security will be allowed to put their guns in their vehicles or check it with their luggage.
“One of the big arguments is, ‘What if someone is trying to use it to gauge our security? TSA will record it. If you try it multiple times during the day, you will be targeted,” said Rep. Drew Springer.
Texas made it a felony to have guns at airports during the 1990s, when the state first started issuing concealed carry licenses.
The law generated national headlines when State Rep. Drew Darby was charged with a felony after trying to take a .38 caliber Ruger pistol through security at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in 2013. Darby told security that he forgot the handgun was in his bag.
The number of guns confiscated at airports in the United States has reportedly quadrupled in the past decade, from 660 in 2005 to 2,212 this year.