What Are The Texas Gun Laws? Lawmakers Made It Easier To Carry Firearms

Following the most recent shooting and tragedy in Texas, calls are again being made for tighter gun control.

The shooter Salvador Ramos, opened fire on the Ulvade elementary school with a semiautomatic firearm, of a type that generally has a military use.

Biden addressed the nation from the White House and called for action, asking "where in God's name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with and stand up to the lobbies?"

Obama has also joined Biden in asking for tighter gun laws to be implemented. Celebrities have also expressed shock and outrage at the event, as well as calling for tighter gun control, namely Chris Evans, Taylor Swift and Jake Paul.

This massacre occurred almost 10 years after Sandy Hook, the deadliest school shooting in US history. With 19 lives being claimed, most being children between the ages of 7 to 10, this is the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook.

What are the gun laws in Texas?

Texas is known for its unrestricted gun legislations, as you can openly carry rifles in public without a permit.

After the 2018 to 2020 mass shootings in Texas, including the Santa Fe high school shooting and the El Paso shooting, Texas Governor Greg Abbot decided to expand gun rights rather than restrict them.

In June 2021, Governor Greg Abbott pledged to keep Texas "a bastion of freedom" and signed into effect seven different gun laws:

  • "Senate Bill 19 (Schwertner/Capriglione) prohibits any governmental entity from contracting with any business that discriminates against firearm and ammunition businesses or organizations.
  • Senate Bill 20 (Campbell/Hefner) allows guests to store firearms in their hotel rooms.
  • Senate Bill 550 (Springer/Spiller) removes the shoulder or belt holster requirements, allowing Texans to carry firearms in whatever kind of holster they choose.
  • House Bill 957 (Oliverson/Springer) repeals the criminal offense of possessing, manufacturing, transporting, or repairing a firearm silencer. It also ensures that any firearm suppressor manufactured in Texas, and that remains in Texas, will not be subject to federal law or federal regulation.
  • House Bill 1500 (Hefner/Creighton) prevents any government entity from prohibiting the sale or transportation of firearms or ammunition during a declared disaster or emergency.
  • House Bill 1927 (Schaefer/Schwertner) authorizes Constitutional Carry in Texas, meaning law-abiding Texans can legally carry a handgun without a license to carry.
  • House Bill 2622 (Holland/Hall) makes Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State by protecting Texans from new federal gun control regulations."

Critics of relaxing the gun laws asked why even after several massacres, lawmakers decided to make it easier to buy guns rather than restrict their purchase.

The killings at the Ulvade elementary school, where many of the victims were barely over the age of 7, put a renewed focus on gun laws, but questions were raised over whether concrete action would be taken to change them.

An image of a protestor against Abbott
An image of a protestor against Abbott MARK FELIX / Getty Images