AUSTIN – Two years after the tragic Sutherland Springs church shooting, the Legislature passed SB 535 by Sen. Donna Campbell, securing the rights of Texans to carry in a place of worship.
“We have learned many times over that there is no such thing as a gun free zone. Those with evil intentions will violate the law and carry out their heinous acts no matter what,” Senator Campbell stated. “We never want to see another tragedy like Sutherland Springs, and we may not have to if we stop disarming the good guys.”
Senate Bill 535 does not restrict the rights of churches to prohibit licensed Texans from carrying on their premises, but simply treats places of worship like other private property. A church that chooses may still post a 30.06 or 30.07 signs to prohibit weapons on their premises.
A 2017 Attorney General’s opinion after Sutherland Springs confirmed the rights of licensed handgun owners to lawfully carry on the premises of an established place of worship. Senator Campbell’s bill draws from that opinion and strengthens the intent of the law.
“The existing statute has been confusing and clunky,” said Senator Campbell. “This bill provides clarity of Texans’ right to carry. I am proud of my colleagues for working hard to pass this bill in memory of the victims of Sutherland Springs and their families.”
The Texas House has passed SB 535 on two of the three readings and is expected to pass final passage today.