US State Loosens Firearm Laws, Allowing Guns In Churches And On School Grounds

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(CNN) – A series of new firearm laws will go into effect in Texas next month — further loosening gun restrictions in a state that’s had four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history.

The laws — passed before a gunman massacred 22 people and injured dozens in El Paso last weekend — will make it easier to have guns in a state with some of the most lax weapons restrictions in the nation.

Here are the key firearm laws going into effect on September 1:

Weapons on school grounds

House Bill 1143 says a school district cannot prohibit licensed gun owners, including school employees, from storing a firearm or ammunition in a locked vehicle on a school parking lot — provided they are not in plain view.

Firearms in places of worship

Senate Bill 535 clarifies the possession of firearms at churches, synagogues or other places of worship. It allows licensed handgun owners to legally carry their weapons in places of worship — and comes nearly two years after a gunman killed 26 people at Sutherland Springs church.

“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 Sen. 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.”

 

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