After El Paso Walmart shooting, Texas to welcome guns in mosques, churches and school grounds – USA TODAY
President Trump suggested linking gun control legislation to immigration laws after the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, mass shootings.
At the beginning of September, 10 new laws that loosen restrictions on public gun possession will take effect in Texas, a mere month after the El Paso shooting killed 22 and injured 24.
Though Texas gun laws are some of the least restrictive in the nation, the laws will make it easier to possess guns in places of worship like churches, mosques and synagogues, apartment buildings, foster homes and public school grounds.
The laws were passed in Texas Legislature’s last session, which concluded in June. The National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, lobbied for all 10 of the bills.
Following the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, which killed at least 31 together, the NRA said they “will not participate in the politicizing of these tragedies” in a statement published Sunday.
The El Paso shooter, who is white, is accused of walking into a crowded Walmart in the heavily Hispanic area on Saturday and targeting shoppers and employees.
All 10 bills were sponsored by Republican members of the Texas Legislature.
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House Bill 1143 prevents school districts from prohibiting employees and other visitors at school campuses to store firearms in locked vehicles.
House Bill 2363 lets foster parents possess firearms “in a safe and secure matter … for personal protection purposes.”
Senate Bill 535 removes a previous ban on the possession of firearms at “churches, synagogues or other places of worship,” following the 2017 shooting
“Those with evil intentions will violate the law and carry out their heinous acts no matter what,” said State Rep. Donna Campbell, who co-sponsored the bill, in a statement.
High-capacity options included: The guns used to kill dozens in Dayton and El Paso were legal
House Bill 3231 “curbs the ability of municipalities” to restrict gun sales at the city level.
“The bill is an attempt to punish local officials who are taking steps to prevent gun violence,” said a statement from gun control organization Everytown in April.
The NRA said in June the sessions that led to the passing of these bills were “very productive.”
Days after these ten bills were signed into law, legislation was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott that permits more teachers to be armed on public school campuses. It followed a shooting at a school near Houston that left 10 dead.
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote