What do the new state gun laws mean for Texans? 

Texas has some of the least stringent gun laws in the country. Now state lawmakers and the governor have taken steps to make them even less so. Last month, Gov. Greg Abbott signed seven separate bills into law that he asserts will further protect Texans’ Second Amendment rights. 

The new law getting the most attention allows what lawmakers refer to as “constitutional carry” or “permitless carry.”  It eliminates the gun license requirement for residents who are not otherwise prohibited from having a gun under federal or state law. The law takes effect on Sept. 1 of this year.

In the statement Gov. Abbott issued after he signed the legislation, he said, “These seven laws will protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and ensure that Texas remains a bastion of freedom.” 

What’s in the other six laws?

These laws further relax state laws and claim to end compliance with future federal gun laws. For example, they:

  • Allow Texans to carry a gun in any type of holster, removing the requirement that it be a belt or shoulder holster
  • Allow hotel guests to have firearms in their rooms
  • Prohibit government entities from doing business with a company that “discriminates against firearm and ammunition businesses or organizations”
  • Legalize the manufacture, sale, transportation and repair of silencers
  • Prohibit any government restrictions on the transportation or sale of ammunition or firearms during a declared emergency or disaster
  • Protect Texas residents from any new federal gun regulations

The last of these make Texas what the governor refers to as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary State.” Whether such a law would hold up if challenged in court is another matter. The strong anti-gun-control rhetoric around these laws can also lead some people to believe that Texas no longer has any limits on the possession, sale or transport of firearms, which is not the case.

If you’re facing gun-related charges, it’s important to understand the law but also to protect your rights under the law. Having experienced legal guidance can be extremely valuable.