It appears as though Texas will be getting a new law regarding Church Security Teams. While House Bill 421 did not make is through the house, another bill, Senate Bill 2065, made it through both the House and the Senate and is now on the Governor's desk to sign into law. We understand that the Governor is desperate enough to sign anything having to do with Church Security, so it will probably be law any day now.
While Senate Bill 2065 was originally about licenses for Eyebrow Hair Pulling and Car Booting regulations there is a process of amending things to bills by which house representative Rinaldi was able to sneak in his original House Bill 421 verbiage through the back door of SB 2065. The amendment reads as follows:
Amend CSSB 2065 (house committee report) by adding the following appropriately numbered ARTICLE to the bill and renumbering subsequent ARTICLES and sections of the bill accordingly:
ARTICLE ____. VOLUNTEER SECURITY SERVICES
SECTION____.001. Subchapter N, Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1702.333 to read as follows:
Sec.1702.333. PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP; CERTAIN VOLUNTEERS.
(a) In this section, "volunteer security services" means services or activities that are:
(1) regulated under this chapter; and
(2) provided without compensation or remuneration.
(b) This chapter does not apply to a person who is providing volunteer security services on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.
(c) While providing volunteer security services under Subsection (b), a person may not wear a uniform or badge that:
(1) contains the word "security"; or
(2) gives the person the appearance of being a peace officer, personal protection officer, or security officer.
So, what does this mean to you if you are a church in Texas? It means that your church now has a new choice for deploying a Security Team. When it becomes the law of the land your Texas church may, if it deems appropriate, deploy a volunteer armed church security team without any licenses at all.
Under this new law church security team members will no longer be required, by law, to have any training, no liability insurance, no background checks or even a License To Carry (LTC).
The requirement to have an LTC is negated by the statute that a private property owner, like the church, can give the right to carry a weapon to anyone they want on private property. This have been confirmed with the Texas Department of Public Safety – Handgun Licensing Division.
If a church were to choose this avenue they, and the security team members, would carry all the liability personally and corporately. Obviously, this would be a choice that most legal minds would think unwise.
If you are a current Gatekeeper church this new law changes nothing regarding our current Gatekeeper program. We remain the same as we have been for the past eleven years. We hope and trust that you and your church would stay with us and remain protected both corporately and individually. We wanted you to know of this new development so that you would know we remain dedicated to your church by providing the best possible alternative regarding security for your church.
If we can provide you any further information please let us know.
Highest regards and God Bless,
Gatekeepers Security Services