As of September 1, 2019, several new or updated gun laws have gone into effect in the state of Texas. First, property owners associations cannot prohibit or restrict the possession, transportation, or storage of firearms or ammunition. They also may not place restrictions on the discharge of firearms. Likewise, school districts may not regulate how licensed handgun owners store their handguns, firearms, or ammunition in their vehicles while parked on school property. Residential lease agreements also cannot restrict the possession of firearms by tenants or their guests.
The Texas Legislature also established a defense for licensed handgun owners who unwittingly enter businesses or places that prohibit guns by positing signs. This defense is available to these individuals so long as they promptly leave the premises when requested to do so.
Under a new law, it is not illegal for citizens without licenses to carry to possess handguns while evacuating from or returning to declared state or local disaster areas. Disaster shelters also may accommodate evacuees who have firearms.
Carrying firearms is no longer prohibited in churches, synagogues, or other places of religious worship. These entities can determine whether they wish to permit firearms on their premises, just as private property owners can.
Other updated or new provisions in the law concerning firearms concern the ability of foster parents to store guns and ammunition in the same locked locations in their homes and the number of armed school marshals a school district or open-enrollment charter school may appoint. The legislation also updated language in the Government Code concerning the carrying of firearms on property owned or leased by a government entity.
Aside from these changes and additions, gun laws remain relatively lenient in the State of Texas. Gun owners are not required to obtain licenses or register their firearms, although they are required to obtain concealed carry permits. There also are no laws on the books in the state that restrict assault weapons or large-capacity magazines. However, individuals must be at least 18 to purchase rifles.
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