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Texas gun laws will be more lenient starting Sept. 1

Some people were surprised the Dayton mass shooter was able to legally order an AK-47-style rifle online from a Texas dealer.

HOUSTON — While many are calling for stricter gun controls in light of recent mass shootings, Texas has gone the other direction. 

The Texas Legislature passed 10 pro-Second Amendment bills during the 2019 session. They will take effect on September 1. 

The Lone Star State already had some of the most lenient gun laws in the country:

  • No permit or background checks are required for private gun sales, including gun shows. 
  • You don't need a permit to buy handguns in Texas.
  • At 18 years old, you're allowed to buy a long arm, and at 21 years old you can by a handgun.
  • If you buy a gun from a store,  you must pass a background check.
  • Texas allows for concealed carry and is considered a "shall issue" state. That means law enforcement can't stop you from getting a permit if you meet the requirements.
  • Concealed carry permits are issued by the Department of Public Safety. To get one, applicants must take a 4 to 6 hours training course, pass a written exam and a shooting proficiency demo.
  • If you're a convicted felon, have misdemeanor convictions, pending criminal charges, chemical or alcohol addiction, certain psychological diagnoses or restraining orders you won't be able to obtain that concealed carry license.
  • In Texas, gun owners have no limit for handgun capacity and no mandatory waiting period for handgun purchases.

These are among the new laws that will take effect on Sept. 1:

  • Texans who legally own firearms will be able to carry them in public after a state or natural disaster is declared. The law came after complaints Harvey victims weren't able to take their guns during mandatory evacuations.
  • Licensed handgun holders can legally carry in places of worship unless given “effective oral or written notice” or warning that weapons were banned from the property. Places of worship will still be able to ban weapons.
  • Landlords won't be able to ban renters from having guns in their apartments.
  • School districts can no longer ban the possession of firearms that are stored in locked vehicles.  


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