New laws expanding gun ownership in Texas came into effect today, just hours after a mass shooting in the state’s west killed seven people.
The laws, signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in June, make it easier for Texans to have guns in public places, including schools, places of worship and foster homes.
It comes after seven people died in the shooting near the twin towns of Odessa and Midland in west Texas on Saturday, and just weeks after 22 people died in a shooting in a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas.
Police have identified Seth Ator, a 36-year-old white male, as the shooter involved in the attacks.
The weekend’s shooting brought the total number of mass killings in the US so far this year to 25, which is as many mass killings as in all of 2018.
NED-272-Gunman shoots victims at random in Texas – 0
WHAT ARE THE NEW GUN LAWS?
The state of Texas has signed a series of laws that will make it easier to store and carry guns in public places in the Lone Star State, including schools, foster homes and churches.
House Bill 1143 says a school district cannot prohibit licensed gun owners, including school employees, from storing a gun or ammunition in a locked vehicle at a school carpark.
House Bill 1387 loosens restrictions on how many armed school marshals a district can appoint.
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House Bill 2363 allows some foster homes to store guns and ammunition in a safe place. House Bill 302 allows residents to possess, carry, transport and store a gun or ammunition at their property, regardless of whether they own or rent it from someone else.
House Bill 1177 prohibits residents from being charged for carrying a gun while evacuating a state or local disaster area.
Senate Bill 535 allows licensed gun owners to legally carry their weapons in places of worship, including churches, synagogues and mosques.
It comes nearly two years after a gunman killed 26 people at the state’s Sutherland Springs church.