AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas lawmakers are cracking down on people who lie on their applications to buy firearms.
On Friday, May 14, the House gave final passage to legislation already approved by the Senate.READ MORE: North Texas Law Enforcement Disappointed In Gov. Abbott's Veto Of Domestic Violence Education Bill
It will now go to the Governor’s office to sign.
It’s already a federal crime to lie on an application to buy a firearm, but the state is now increasing its own penalties.
Republican State Representative Charlie Geren of Fort Worth pushed passage of the bill in the House Thursday evening. “If you lie when you fill out the that form, it’s a state jail felony in the State of Texas. ATF was not even telling DPS the people that they knew were lying on these forms.”
The measure is the result from the deadly shooting massacres in El Paso and Midland-Odessa two years ago, which claimed the lives of 30 people and injured 48 others.
After a series of townhall meetings, Governor Greg Abbott, lawmakers, and law enforcement officials concluded the state should consider the stiffer punishment for those who try to buy guns illegally.
Geren said, “The shooter in Odessa should have been in the federal penitentiary instead of killing the citizens of Midland and Odessa counties and we need to pass this and it needs to be signed by the Governor.”
The bill was not considered an emergency item by Governor Greg Abbott, but enjoyed bipartisan support.READ MORE: Dallas County DA Reverses Plans To Seek Death Penalty For Alleged Serial Killer Billy Chemirmir
But Democratic lawmakers from El Paso expressed gratitude the measure passed.
Representative Joe Moody told Geren, “A lot of things are said in politics and a lot of promises are made in politics, I want to thank you for keeping yours. Thank you sir, you have a great bill.”
Representative Elevina Ortega said, “Thank you so much for filing this bill and getting it passed. Thank you from El Paso.”
Geren said, “It’s incredibly important for the families of the victims of these shootings that we pass this. If the federal government is not going to prosecute this, the state of Texas should prosecute it.”
Another gun bill, one that generated controversy and headlines, is still making its way through the legislature.
A final version of permit-less carry, which would allow law-abiding Texans to carry handguns in public without a required license or training, is still being negotiated by House and Senate members.
In tweets, both the Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House vowed to get the bill to the Governor.
An elections integrity bill also passed both the Senate and House after generating headlines and controversy.MORE NEWS: 'New Personnel & Procedures, Insufficient Oversight' Led To Texas Execution Without Media Present
But no decision has been made yet on what the final version of the legislation will look like.