Texas gun laws getting more lenient


LUBBOCK, Texas — On September 1, nine new gun laws will be in place, lessening restrictions on firearms and ammunition.

The 86th Texas legislative session wrapped up in the spring, but with recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, the new laws are sparking concerns.

Steve Burns, an owner of LSG Tactical Arms, said the new laws will benefit the state.

“[New gun laws] in Texas that are going to make Texas a safer place to be, safer place to live,” Burns said.

Resident of Lubbock, Caitlin Banks, however disagrees.

“I think we’re heading in the wrong direction. I think we should have stronger gun laws not weaker gun laws,” Banks said.

Below is a summarization of the nine laws:

House Bill 121 provides a defense if a person with a gun unknowingly walks into a place where guns are prohibited. The person must be asked to leave.

House Bill 302 prohibits lease agreements from restricting possession of guns by residents or their guests.

House Bill 1143 prevents school districts from regulating how a licensed person’s gun or ammunition is stored in a vehicle located in a school’s parking lot.

House Bill 1177 prevents people from being charged with a crime if they are in possession of a handgun without a License to Carry when evacuating from a declared state or local disaster area.

House Bill 1387 loosens the restrictions on how many armed school marshals a school district may appoint.

House Bill 1791 updates language in the Texas Government Code relating to carrying firearms and ammunition on a property owned or leased by a government entity.

House Bill 2363 updates specifications on how foster parents may store firearms in a foster home.

Senate Bill 535 clarifies the Texas Penal Code by removing “church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship” from the list of prohibited locations for carrying a firearm.

Senate Bill 741 prohibits property owners associations from prohibiting or restricting possession, transportation or storage of a firearm or ammunition. It also prohibits restrictions on lawful discharge of a firearm.

“Somebody brings a gun into a religious place, there should be no purpose for that,” Banks said.

Paul Fioroni, another Lubbock resident and former hockey player said he supports the new gun laws.

“Very, very awful situations that happen, it’s very unfortunate that guns get a bad name because of it,” Fioroni said.

Meanwhile, Travis Gudenrath had mixed opinions about the laws, saying he supports some and not others.

“At the same time, loosening those restrictions [introduces] people to a lot of danger and vulnerability, by allowing those guns to move so freely through those areas. I just don’t see why lessening those restrictions is going to help public safety,” Gudenrath said.

However, Fioroni and Burns agree education about guns and laws relating to guns is important.

“There’s a large rule book that we have to live by,” said Burns. “We have to know our customers.We have to make sure our customers provide proper identification and pass their background checks so it’s something we live with all day every day.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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