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  S.B. No. 766
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the liability of a sport shooting range and the
  regulation of firearms, ammunition, firearm supplies, and sport
  shooting ranges.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  The heading to Chapter 128, Civil Practice and
  Remedies Code, is amended to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 128.  LIMITATION ON SUITS AGAINST SPORT SHOOTING RANGE
  OR FIREARMS OR AMMUNITION MANUFACTURER, TRADE
  ASSOCIATION, OR SELLER
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 128, Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
  is amended by designating Section 128.001 as Subchapter A, Chapter
  128, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and adding a heading to
  Subchapter A to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER A.  SUIT BY GOVERNMENTAL UNIT
         SECTION 3.  Section 128.001, Civil Practice and Remedies
  Code, is amended by amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding
  Subsection (f) to read as follows:
         (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Governmental[, "governmental] unit" means:
                     (A) [(1)]  a political subdivision of the state,
  including a municipality or county; and
                     (B) [(2)]  any other agency of government whose
  authority is derived from the laws or constitution of this state.
               (2)  "Sport shooting range" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 250.001, Local Government Code.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsections [Subsection] (c) and
  (f), a governmental unit may not bring suit against:
               (1)  a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade
  association, or seller for recovery of damages resulting from, or
  injunctive relief or abatement of a nuisance relating to, the
  lawful design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or
  ammunition to the public; or
               (2)  a sport shooting range, the owners or operators of
  a sport shooting range, or the owners of real property on which a
  sport shooting range is operated, for the lawful discharge of
  firearms on the sport shooting range.
         (f)  Nothing in this section shall prohibit a governmental
  unit from bringing an action against a sport shooting range, the
  owners or operators of a sport shooting range, or the owners of real
  property on which a sport shooting range is operating if the sport
  shooting range began operation after September 1, 2011, and
  operates exclusively within the governmental unit's geographical
  limits, exclusive of the governmental unit's extraterritorial
  jurisdiction:
               (1)  for injunctive relief to enforce a valid
  ordinance, statute, or regulation; or
               (2)  to require the sport shooting range to comply with
  generally accepted standards followed in the sport shooting range
  industry in this state at the time of the sport shooting range's
  construction.
         SECTION 4.  Chapter 128, Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
  is amended by adding Subchapter B to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER B.  CIVIL ACTIONS
         Sec. 128.051.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Claim" means any relief sought in a civil action,
  including all forms of monetary recovery or injunctive relief.
               (2)  "Claimant" has the meaning assigned by Section
  41.001.
               (3)  "Expert" means a person who is:
                     (A)  giving opinion testimony about the
  appropriate standard of care for a sport shooting range, an owner or
  operator of a sport shooting range, or the owner of real property on
  which a sport shooting range is operated, or the causal
  relationship between the injury, harm, or damages claimed and the
  alleged departure from the applicable standard of care; and
                     (B)  qualified to render opinions on the standards
  and causal relationship described by Paragraph (A) under the Texas
  Rules of Evidence.
               (4)  "Expert report" means a written report by an
  expert that provides a fair summary of the expert's opinions as of
  the date of the report regarding applicable standards of care for
  operation of a sport shooting range, the manner in which a defendant
  failed to meet the standards, and the causal relationship between
  that failure and the injury, harm, or damages claimed.
               (5)  "Sport shooting range" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 250.001, Local Government Code.
         Sec. 128.052.  LIMITATION ON CIVIL ACTION AND RECOVERY OF
  DAMAGES. (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), a civil action
  may not be brought against a sport shooting range, the owner or
  operator of a sport shooting range, or the owner of the real
  property on which a sport shooting range is operated for recovery of
  damages resulting from, or injunctive relief or abatement of a
  nuisance relating to, the discharge of firearms.
         (b)  Nothing in this section prohibits a civil action against
  a sport shooting range, the owner or operator of a sport shooting
  range, or the owner of the real property on which a sport shooting
  range is operated for recovery of damages for:
               (1)  breach of contract for use of the real property on
  which a sport shooting range is located;
               (2)  damage or harm to private property caused by the
  discharge of firearms on a sport shooting range;
               (3)  personal injury or death caused by the discharge
  of a firearm on a sport shooting range; or
               (4)  injunctive relief to enforce a valid ordinance,
  statute, or regulation.
         (c)  Damages may be awarded, or an injunction may be
  obtained, in a civil action brought under this section if the
  claimant shows by a preponderance of the evidence, through the
  testimony of one or more expert witnesses, that the sport shooting
  range, the owner or operator of the sport shooting range, or the
  owner of real property on which the sport shooting range is operated
  deviated from the standard of care that is reasonably expected of an
  ordinarily prudent sport shooting range, owner or operator of a
  sport shooting range, or owner of real property on which a sport
  shooting range is operated in the same or similar circumstances.
         Sec. 128.053.  EXPERT REPORT. (a)  In a suit against a sport
  shooting range, an owner or operator of a sport shooting range, or
  the owner of real property on which a sport shooting range is
  operated, a claimant shall, not later than the 90th day after the
  date the original petition was filed, serve on each party or the
  party's attorney one or more expert reports, with a curriculum
  vitae of each expert listed in the report for each defendant against
  whom a claim is asserted. The date for serving the report may be
  extended by written agreement of the affected parties. Each
  defendant whose conduct is implicated in a report must file and
  serve any objection to the sufficiency of the report not later than
  the 21st day after the date the report is served or all objections
  are waived.
         (b)  If, as to a defendant, an expert report has not been
  served within the period specified by Subsection (a), the court, on
  the motion of the affected defendant, shall, subject to Subsection
  (c), enter an order that:
               (1)  awards to the affected defendant attorney's fees
  and costs of court incurred by the defendant; and
               (2)  dismisses the claim with prejudice with respect to
  the affected defendant.
         (c)  If an expert report has not been served within the
  period specified by Subsection (a) because elements of the report
  are found deficient, the court may grant one extension of not more
  than 30 days to the claimant in order to cure the deficiency.  If the
  claimant does not receive notice of the court's ruling granting the
  extension until after the 90th day after the date the deadline has
  passed, then the 30-day extension runs from the date the plaintiff
  first receives the notice.
         (d)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a
  claimant may satisfy any requirement of this section for serving an
  expert report by serving reports of separate experts regarding
  different defendants or regarding different issues arising from the
  conduct of a defendant, including issues of liability and
  causation.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that
  a single expert must address all liability and causation issues
  with respect to all defendants or with respect to both liability and
  causation issues for a defendant.
         (e)  A court shall grant a motion challenging the adequacy of
  an expert report only if it appears to the court, after a hearing,
  that the report does not represent an objective, good faith effort
  to comply with the requirements of an expert report.
         (f)  Until a claimant has served the expert report and
  curriculum vitae as required by Subsection (a), all discovery is
  stayed except that after a claim is filed all claimants,
  collectively, may take not more than two depositions before the
  expert report is served as required by Subsection (a).
         SECTION 5.  Section 229.001, Local Government Code, is
  amended by amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsection
  (e) to read as follows:
         (a)  Notwithstanding any other law, including Section 43.002
  of this code and Chapter 251, Agriculture Code, a [A] municipality
  may not adopt regulations relating to:
               (1)  the transfer, private ownership, keeping,
  transportation, licensing, or registration of firearms,
  ammunition, or firearm supplies; or
               (2)  the discharge of a firearm at a sport shooting
  range.
         (b)  Subsection (a) does not affect the authority a
  municipality has under another law to:
               (1)  require residents or public employees to be armed
  for personal or national defense, law enforcement, or another
  lawful purpose;
               (2)  regulate the discharge of firearms within the
  limits of the municipality, other than at a sport shooting range;
               (3)  regulate the use of property, the location of a
  business, or uses at a business under the municipality's fire code,
  zoning ordinance, or land-use regulations as long as the code,
  ordinance, or regulations are not used to circumvent the intent of
  Subsection (a) or Subdivision (5) of this subsection;
               (4)  regulate the use of firearms in the case of an
  insurrection, riot, or natural disaster if the municipality finds
  the regulations necessary to protect public health and safety;
               (5)  regulate the storage or transportation of
  explosives to protect public health and safety, except that 25
  pounds or less of black powder for each private residence and 50
  pounds or less of black powder for each retail dealer are not
  subject to regulation; [or]
               (6)  regulate the carrying of a firearm by a person
  other than a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun under
  Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, at a:
                     (A)  public park;
                     (B)  public meeting of a municipality, county, or
  other governmental body;
                     (C)  political rally, parade, or official
  political meeting; or
                     (D)  nonfirearms-related school, college, or
  professional athletic event; or
               (7)  regulate the hours of operation of a sport
  shooting range, except that the hours of operation may not be more
  limited than the least limited hours of operation of any other
  business in the municipality other than a business permitted or
  licensed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises
  consumption.
         (e)  In this section, "sport shooting range" has the meaning
  assigned by Section 250.001.
         SECTION 6.  Subtitle B, Title 7, Local Government Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 236 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 236.  COUNTY REGULATION OF FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, FIREARM
  SUPPLIES, AND SPORT SHOOTING RANGES
         Sec. 236.001.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "sport shooting
  range" has the meaning assigned by Section 250.001.
         Sec. 236.002.  FIREARMS; SPORT SHOOTING RANGE.  
  Notwithstanding any other law, including Chapter 251, Agriculture
  Code, a county may not adopt regulations relating to:
               (1)  the transfer, private ownership, keeping,
  transportation, licensing, or registration of firearms,
  ammunition, or firearm supplies; or
               (2)  the discharge of a firearm at a sport shooting
  range.
         Sec. 236.003.  REGULATION OF OUTDOOR SPORT SHOOTING RANGE.  
  Notwithstanding Section 236.002, a county may regulate the
  discharge of a firearm at an outdoor sport shooting range as
  provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 235.
         SECTION 7.  Subsection (a), Section 250.001, Local
  Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Association" or "private club" means an
  association or private club that operates a sport shooting range at
  which not fewer than 20 different individuals discharge firearms
  each calendar year.
               (2)  "Sport[, "sport] shooting range" means a business
  establishment, private club, or association that operates an area
  for the discharge or other use of firearms for silhouette, skeet,
  trap, black powder, target, self-defense, or similar recreational
  shooting.
         SECTION 8.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of
  this Act. A cause of action that accrues before the effective date
  of this Act is governed by the law in effect immediately before the
  effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 9.  This Act takes effect on September 1, 2011.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 766 passed the Senate on
  March 28, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 766 passed the House on
  May 25, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 145, Nays 1, two
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor