A series of laws easing gun regulation in Texas took effect on Sunday, Sept. 1, just one day after the state’s latest mass shooting.
The bill makes it easier for people to carry guns in public areas, including schools, apartment buildings, and places of worship.
The new laws state that school districts cannot prohibit licensed gun owners from storing a firearm in a vehicle in a school parking lot as long as it is not in plain view and allow schools to have more armed marshals on campus.
Another new law bans landlords and homeowners from prohibiting tenants to own, carry, and transport guns on their property. Licensed handgun owners can also carry weapons in places of worship.
The new laws also allow residents to carry handguns without a license while evacuating or returning to a declared disaster zone.
Opponents have criticized these laws for putting more people in danger while proponents argue that they will offer people the opportunity to defend themselves from threats.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) defended the new gun laws, saying they will make his communities safer.
“I am tired of the dying of the people of the state of Texas. Too many Texans are in mourning. Too many Texans have lost their lives. The status quo in Texas is unacceptable and action is needed,” the governor told the CBS News.
The mass shooting in Odessa in West Texas on Saturday, Aug. 31, left seven dead and injured 22 others. On Aug. 3, a gunman killed 22 people in a Walmart store in El Paso.