9 New Gun Laws Now In Effect In Texas; Some In Response To Church And Mass Shootings
Dallas, TX - Nine new gun laws went into effect in Texas on Sunday, one day after a gunman went on a shooting rampage in Odessa and Midland killing seven people and just weeks after 22 people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a Walmart in El Paso.
While the new laws were passed prior to the state’s latest two mass shootings, many of the new laws were a direct response by lawmakers to two previous massing shootings, the Sutherland Springs church shooting in 2017 and the Santa Fe High School shooting in 2018.
Among the new laws is one that allows licensed handgun holders to legally carry in places of worship and another that allows gun owners to store firearms and ammunition in locked places in vehicles in school parking lots.
Here’s a list of the new gun related laws that were passed in the 86th Texas Legislature (source: Texas State Law Library):
- SB 535 — Relating to the carrying of a handgun by a license holder on the premises of certain places of religious worship. Clarifies the Texas Penal Code to make it clear that places of worship are to be treated the same as other private property when determining whether a license holder may carry on premises.
- HB 1143 — Relating to the transportation or storage of a handgun or other firearm or ammunition by a handgun license holder in a school parking area. Updates the Texas Education Code to prevent school districts from regulating the manner in which a licensed person’s handgun, firearm, or ammunition is stored in their vehicle in a school parking area.
- HB 1387 — Relating to the number of school marshals that may be appointed to serve on a public school campus or at a private school. Loosens restrictions on how many armed school marshals a school district or the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school may appoint.
- HB 121 — Relating to a defense to prosecution for the offense of trespass by certain persons carrying handguns. Provides a defense for License To Carry holders who unknowingly enter establishments that prohibit guns with signage if the LTC holder promptly leaves the property after being asked.
- HB 302 — Relating to the carrying, storage, or possession of a firearm or firearm ammunition by certain persons on certain residential or commercial property. Prohibits residential lease agreements from restricting the possession of firearms by residents or their guests.
- HB 1177 — Relating to carrying a handgun during a state of disaster. Prevents citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a handgun without a License To Carry while evacuating from a declared state or local disaster area, or while returning to that area. Also gives disaster shelters the option to accommodate evacuees with firearms.
- HB 1791 — Relating to the carrying of handguns by license holders on property owned or leased by a governmental entity. Updates language in the Texas Government Code related to the carrying of firearms on property owned or leased by a government entity.
- HB 2363 — Relating to permitting certain foster homes to store firearms and ammunition in the same locked location. Updates specifications for how foster parents may store their firearms in a foster home.
- SB 741 — Relating to restrictive covenants regarding firearms or firearm ammunition. Prohibits a property owners association from prohibiting or restricting the possession, transportation, or storage of a firearm or ammunition. Also prohibits restrictions on the lawful discharge of a firearm.