TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Big changes are on the way for Texas gun laws. Starting Sept. 1, several new laws passed in the recent legislative session will take effect.
Many of them will address where licensed gun owners can have a gun — including rental properties and churches.
“At Green Acres, basically we just go with what the law prescribes," said Ken Warren, senior pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church.
And right now lawmakers consider that law “clunky” and “confusing.” But come Sept. 1, that existing statute will be cleaned up.
“As long as you abide by the law, we have no problem with you bringing a firearm to church. We will ask you about it. We will check your identity. We will ask to see your license," Warren said. “And if you’re a law abiding firearm carrier, you’re welcome here.”
Warren said right now, Green Acres does allow licensed handgun owners to bring their weapon inside, a right he says comes with responsibility.
“The responsibility in that instance is if you choose to use that firearm, the instance you begin using it then you automatically become what we call the bad guy. We have people here who are equipped and trained and authorized to act on behalf of the church and you may be putting yourself in harms way if you choose to do that” he said.
Senate Bill 535 does allow churches to still post signs prohibiting weapons on property.
Other gun laws taking effect Sept. 1 are:
- HB 302: Will prevent landlords from restricting the carrying of firearms by tenants and says they can’t be restricted by lease agreements.
- SB 741: Prevents Texas property owners’ associations from banning the carrying and storage of guns on rental property.
- HB 1387: Eliminates the cap on how many school marshals can carry guns at public and private schools. Schools that currently participate in the program can only have one marshal per 200 students or per building.
- HB 1143: Will prevent school districts from regulating how licensed person’s gun or ammunition is store in their vehicle in parking areas, as long as it’s not in plain view.
- HB 2363: Allows certain foster homes to store firearms and ammunition, only if the guns are stored together and locked away.