Tragic shootings that have recently taken place in the state of Texas and throughout the country have continued to make gun possession a controversial topic. States have responded to these incidents in various ways. While some states have chosen to tighten their gun laws, as of last year Texas lawmakers have loosened a number of restrictions on gun possession.
The Texas Tribune provides a brief rundown on gun laws passed by the legislature in 2019. In all, nine new gun laws took effect as of last September. Landlords are no longer permitted to keep their tenants or guests from carrying firearms. In response to the 2018 shooting at a Santa Fe school, another law removed the cap on the number of school marshals that can carry guns.
Another recent change to gun laws involves natural disaster situations. In the past, Texans who possessed firearms but did not have a license to carry faced the possibility of breaking the law if they took their weapons with them while evading a hurricane or other natural disaster. Under one of the new laws, people without a carry license who are under a mandatory evacuation order may take their guns with them for up to forty-eight hours.
The recent shooting at White Settlement drew attention to another recent change in Texas gun laws that removed restrictions on residents carrying firearms in places of worship, like churches and synagogues. As the Dallas News reported, on December 29, 2019, a gunman opened fire in a White Settlement church, and though the shooter succeeded in killing two individuals, an armed parishioner stopped the shooter from committing further acts of carnage.
Since these new laws loosen gun restrictions, it means that some offenses once on the books no longer exist. Law enforcement will have fewer gun violations to charge state residents with. For this reason, gun owners may benefit from learning all they can about these recent changes to better understand how to exercise their Second Amendment rights in the Lone Star state.