Texas Expands Gun Rights, Clarifies Laws on Guns in Churches

New gun laws allow licensed owners to carry firearms into places of worship.

On September 1, 2019, new gun laws are going to come into effect in Texas. Despite the state being home to four of the deadliest mass shootings to take place in the country, it is going to relax its firearm restrictions. In 2017 a Southerland Springs, Texas church came under attack of a gunman, which took the lives of 26 people.

Texas lawmakers passed these laws before the attack in El Paso, which took the lives of 22 people.

The purpose of Senate Bill 535 was to clear the air about firearm laws in religious places. With the new measure, these types of establishments are the same as private ones.

According to the new law, licensed firearm owners can carry guns in synagogues, churches, and other similar religious places of worship. Senator Donna Campbell, who was the co-sponsor for the bill, explains the new law. According to her, there won’t be anything stopping people from committing unlawful acts in these establishments. As a result, it is better for individuals to arm themselves, so they are not defenseless.

Although other states, such as Florida and Ohio are clamping down on firearm laws, Texas is going in the opposite direction. According to the lobbyist and legislative director for Texas State Rifle Association, Alice Tripp, the residents of the state won’t follow the rules and regulations of other areas of jurisdiction.

She also stated that Texans are smarter than the people of other states, which is why their lawmakers make different rules. The Republicans of the state believe people are the ones responsible for committing crimes, not the guns themselves.

Texas continues to be resistant in bringing tighter restrictions on firearm laws despite the number of mass shootings taking place in the nation.

House Bill 1143 brings about change in the gun laws regarding school grounds. Those with licenses to carry firearms, including employees working in schools can do so in these types of property.

They need to store the weapons in locked vehicles, which can only be in parking lot of the school. House Bill 2363 gives legal permission for individuals to store ammunition and firearms in foster homes. Similarly, House Bill 302 allows residents in rental property to possess guns.

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