S.B. No. 840

By: Brown, Madla, West

AN ACT relating to the punishment for certain weapons offenses committed in a school zone.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Chapter 46, Penal Code, is amended by adding Section 46.11 to read as follows:

Sec. 46.11. PENALTY IF OFFENSE COMMITTED WITHIN WEAPON-FREE SCHOOL ZONE. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the punishment prescribed for an offense under this chapter is increased to the punishment prescribed for the next highest category of offense [i.e., a felony] if it is shown beyond a reasonable doubt on the trial of the offense that the actor committed the offense in a place that the actor knew was:

(1) within 300 feet of the premises of a school; or

(2) on premises where:

(A) an official school function is taking place; or

(B) an event sponsored or sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League is taking place.

(b) This section does not apply to an offense under Section 46.03(a)(1).

(c) In this section, "institution of higher education," "premises," and "school" have the meanings assigned by Section 481.134, Health and Safety Code.

SECTION 2. Chapter 46, Penal Code, is amended by adding Section 46.12 to read as follows:

Sec. 46.12. MAPS AS EVIDENCE OF LOCATION OR AREA. (a) In a prosecution of an offense for which punishment is increased under Section 46.11, a map produced or reproduced by a municipal or county engineer for the purpose of showing the location and boundaries of weapon-free zones is admissible in evidence and is prima facie evidence of the location or boundaries of those areas if the governing body of the municipality or county adopts a resolution or ordinance approving the map as an official finding and record of the location or boundaries of those areas.

(b) A municipal or county engineer may, on request of the governing body of the municipality or county, revise a map that has been approved by the governing body of the municipality or county as provided by Subsection (a).

(c) A municipal or county engineer shall file the original or a copy of every approved or revised map approved as provided by Subsection (a) with the county clerk of each county in which the area is located.

(d) This section does not prevent the prosecution from:

(1) introducing or relying on any other evidence or testimony to establish any element of an offense for which punishment is increased under Section 46.11; or

(2) using or introducing any other map or diagram otherwise admissible under the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence.

SECTION 3. (a) The change in law made by this Act applies only to the punishment for an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. For purposes of this section, an offense is committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurs before the effective date. (b) An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for this purpose.

SECTION 4. If S.B. No. 1, 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is enacted and becomes law, Sections 46.11 and 46.12, Penal Code, as added by S.B. No. 1, 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, have no effect and are repealed.

SECTION 5. This Act takes effect September 1, 1995. SECTION 6. The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

/s/__________________________ President of the Senate

/s/__________________________ Speaker of the House

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 840 passed the Senate on May 4, 1995, by the following vote: Yeas 29, Nays 2; May 23, 1995, Senate refused to concur in House amendment and requested appointment of Conference Committee; May 24, 1995, House granted request of the Senate; May 29, 1995, Senate adopted Conference Committee Report by a viva-voce vote.

/s/__________________________ Secretary of the Senate I hereby certify that S.B. No. 840 passed the House, with amendment, on May 22, 1995, by a non-record vote; May 24, 1995, House granted request of the Senate for appointment of Conference Committee; May 28, 1995, House adopted Conference Committee Report by a non-record vote.

/s/__________________________ Chief Clerk of the House Approved: ________________________________ Date

/s/________________________________ Governor .

Committee Actions:

BILL NUMBER: SB 840

AUTHOR: Brown SPONSOR: De La Garza

COAUTHORS: Madla/ West, Royce

COSPONSORS:

LAST ACTION: 06/07/95

Effective on 9/1/95

SENATE COMM: Criminal Justice VOTES: AYES = 5 NAYS = 0 PRESENT NOT VOTING = 0 ABSENT = 2

HOUSE COMM: Criminal Jurisprudence VOTES: AYES = 7 NAYS = 0 PRESENT NOT VOTING = 0 ABSENT = 2