In a nutshell, HB 421 exempts churches from the Private Security Act to allow volunteers to provide security for church services. Currently, state law requires volunteers to meet stringent licensing requirements, including at least 40 hours of initial training, plus associated licensing and course fees. Additionally, each member of this team would need a background check, fingerprints, and annual recurring training.
This sort of requirement – designed for private security companies – is burdensome, particularly for small churches. Penalties for violating the law can be as high as $10,000. HB 421 empowers churches to control their security team as they see fit, without government interference.
If you have the interest and ability to testify in Austin, the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee will hear testimony on Tuesday, March 7 at 8 a.m. in room E2.014 of the Texas Capitol. If you would like to submit a letter in support of the bill, you can contact Jordan in Rep. Rinaldi’s office at (512) 463-0468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.