West Texas shooting occurred one day before new state laws loosen gun restrictions

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TEXAS (KETK) – The shooting in West Texas that killed seven and injured more than 20 others took place just one day before a series of new state laws went into effect easing restrictions on guns.

Texas has had four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history, including El Paso in July.

Here are the new laws going into effect September 1:

Guns on school grounds

House Bill 1143 says school districts cannot prohibit licensed gun owners, including employees, from storing a firearm in a locked vehicle in a school parking lot, provided it is not in plain view.

Guns in churches

Senate Bill 535 allows licensed gun owners to carry a firearm in churches, synagogues, or other religious places of worship.

“The purpose of my bill was to give clarity that you can carry in church unless the church says posts a sign that says ‘You May Not Carry” State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, said Wednesday.

Campbell authored the bill following the attack at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas that left 20 dead and 26 injured in 2017.

STORY: New Texas law will allow handgun owners to carry weapons in church

Appointed school marshals

House Bill 1387 loosens previous restrictions on how many school marshals may be appointed by the district.

Guns in rental properties

House Bill 302 prohibits rental properties from restricting tenants from lawfully possessing, carrying, transporting, or storing a firearm on the property or vehicle located on the property.

Guns held during a natural disaster evacuation

House Bill 1177 allows handgun owners to carry their concealed firearms without a license for up to 48 hours while under an evacuation order during a natural disaster.

“What if something happened and the man or woman did not have the chance to get a license to carry three days before or a month before the disaster happens, so they want to protect themselves, want to protect others, and they want to protect their family of course,” said Jordan Revels, with Superior Outfitters in Tyler.  

The bill is backed by five of East Texas lawmakers; Jay Dean, Cole Hefner, Trent Ashby, Chris Paddie, and Matt Schaefer.

STORY: Texas gun bill will allow firearm carry after natural disasters

Guns kept in a foster home

House Bill 2363 allows foster homes to store firearms in a safe and secure location for personal protection.

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