Texas To Relax Gun Laws, Allowing Firearms In Schools And Churches Days After El Paso Shooting

Texas To Relax Gun Laws, Allowing Firearms In Schools And Churches Days After El Paso Shooting

Ten new pro-gun laws will take effect in Texas in four weeks, less than a week after 22 people died in a mass shooting in El Paso.

Just a week has passed since the mass shooting incident took place in El Paso, Texas and the state government has already decided that they will put into effect as many as ten new pro-gun laws. The laws were planned and made before the mass shooting in El Paso last Saturday that left 22 people dead. 



Governor Greg Abbott of the state of Texas has announced that the new laws will be in effect within a month and has signed the measures for it, much to the delight of the members of the N.R.A. Taking a good look at the laws that would be enforced, one can find that those calling for gun-control are going to be severely disappointed.

Proponents of increased gun control in the United States argue that limiting access to guns will save lives and reduce crime; opponents insist that it would actually do the opposite by preventing law-abiding citizens from defending themselves against armed criminals.



Several house bills were passed and will go into effect starting from September 1. A few of the key firearm laws that are going to be instilled by the state of Texas are: 

House Bill 1143 - Firearms on School Grounds

This bill declares that a school district cannot ban licensed gun owners, including school employees, from storing a firearm in a locked vehicle in a school parking lot. Kris Brown, president of gun violence prevention advocacy group Brady, immediately criticized the passing of this bill, which will be under effect from September 1. 

"Texas lawmakers, instead of reacting to the horrific shooting in Santa Fe by focusing on keeping guns out of dangerous hands, or even emphasizing safe storage of guns, instead doubled down on an NRA led agenda to encourage guns everywhere, no matter the risks and costs to safety. Many states took the opportunity in the last two years to learn lessons from the tragedies in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Parkland, and the everyday gun violence that plagues our citizens, and enacted new laws to protect public safety through expanded background checks and extreme risk laws, which allow families and law enforcement to remove guns temporarily from individuals at risk of harming themselves or others," Brown said.



Senate Bill 535 - Firearms in Churches and Other Places of Worship

The possession of firearms at churches, synagogues or other places of worship has been authorized by Senate Bill 535. This bill allows handgun owners (with licenses of course) to legally carry their weapons into places of worship in order to defend themselves if need be. 

"We have learned many times over that there is no such thing as a gun-free zone. Those with evil intentions will violate the law and carry out their heinous acts no matter what," state Senator Donna Campbell, co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. "It makes no sense to disarm the good guys and leave law-abiding citizens defenseless where violent offenders break the law to do great harm." The bill will make things clearer, she said.

"The existing statute is confusing and clunky when it comes to clearly stating the rights of licensed Texans to carry on the premises of a church. This bill provides clarity of the Legislature's intent to treat churches in the same manner as other privately owned establishments in Texas."



House Bill 302 

Another big one! House owners and landlords cannot prohibit their tenants and residents from "lawfully possessing, carrying, transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition in the property."  

This bill will protect tenantsโ€™ rights to possess lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition in homes and to transport their guns between their personal vehicles and those locations.



Aside from these three major bills, there are also legislations being passed to increase the number of marshalls a school can appoint on the premises. One bill titled 'House Bill 2363' will allow select foster homes to store firearms and the necessary ammunition in a safe and secure place for personal protection.

The bill requires that proper storage of the firearms be followed. Yet another bill (House Bill 1777) now allows residents to carry their handguns and other licensed weapons while evacuating from the state in the event of a disaster. 

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