Recent riots and looting in cities around the United States has many people on edge. One of the side effects of this is that gun sales have skyrocketed.
In Texas, this has led to gun stores being swamped. In fact, background checks in the state are up over 60 percent year over year in 2020 when compared to 2019. More people are also expected to be concealed carrying.
If you have or are thinking about getting a gun, though, it’s important to remember that even though gun laws in the state of Texas are more relaxed than in other states, there are still laws. Moreover, these laws also change quite regularly.
Below, we’re going to discuss some recent changes to the law to help you avoid potentially severe weapons charges.
What Are the New Laws Concerning Guns In Texas?
The state of Texas doesn’t actually have many gun laws compared to other places around the country. Instead, our state remains in compliance with federal gun laws as a guideline. These federal laws govern various aspects of gun ownership, including the age at which a person can buy a gun and the possession of guns by persons such as restricted felons.
During the 2019 legislative session, there were a number of new laws and changes that were made to help Texans who wanted to own and carry their firearms in public. Some of the most prominent changes include:
Senate Bill 535
This new bill makes it legal for Texans to legally carry firearms into places of worship such as churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples. These establishments can still prohibit the carrying of firearms on their premises, but must make this clear with signage. This law only applies to Texans who are legally entitled to carry a firearm.
Senate Bill 741
This new law prevents property owners associations from prohibiting the storage of legally owned firearms on rental properties.
House Bill 121
Under house bill 121, Texans who are legally allowed to carry will have a defense in the event they enter the premises of a business or other establishment that prohibits carrying firearms. The one requirement to use this defense is that they must leave when asked.
House Bill 302
This adds protection to renters so that landlords can no longer ban renters or their guests from carrying firearms and can no longer add such stipulations into lease agreements.
House Bill 1387
This relaxes some of the restrictions limiting the number of school marshals that can carry firearms on public and private campuses.
House Bill 1177
Texans will now be able to legally carry a firearm during a state of disaster. This applies to handguns being carried without a license.
House Bill 1143
This law bans school districts from banning licensed firearms owners from legally storing a firearm in their vehicle in a parking lot.
House Bill 2363
This law allows certain foster homes to store firearms in locked locations.
How Do These Changes Affect Texans Who Are Charged?
These new laws give greater protection to individuals who are legally allowed to carry firearms in the state of Texas. It’s important to note that all individuals possessing a firearm must be in compliance with federal gun laws.
There are also other laws in the state, such as those governing the carrying of firearms into bars, that Texans must follow. However, with these new laws in effect, Texans accused of violating gun laws will now have further protections and stronger defenses against weapons charges.
About the Author:
After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. He has been named one of the 3 Best DUI Lawyers in Fort Worth, recognized by Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, Avvo, and others, and he is Lead Counsel rated.