Gov. Greg Abbott invoked not just the imagery of the Alamo when he signed a package of legislation relaxing gun control laws in Texas—he called on the head of the National Rifle Association to line up with him. The governor staged a bill-signing ceremony Thursday in San Antonio, a day after actually signing the bills, the Austin American-Statesman reports. One of the new laws allows anyone 21 or older to carry a handgun in public without a permit. Until now, a permit was required, as was training and a criminal background check. "There is a need for people to have a weapon to defend themselves in the Lone Star State," Abbott said, per the AP. Wayne LaPierre, NRA boss, said: "People want to be able to protect themselves. And thank God that Texas is leading the way for the country."
At the same time, demonstrators including Moms Demand Action protested the new laws outside the governor's mansion in Austin. The other six measures, all of which take effect Sept. 1, per the American-Statesman, will:
- Prohibit government contracts with any entity that discriminates against the firearm industry.
- Keep hotels from enacting restrictive gun policies.
- Grant people carrying handguns more choices on which holster to wear.
- Take firearm suppressors off the list of prohibited weapons under the Texas Penal Code.
- Decree firearms manufacturers and sellers essential businesses.
- Bar state and local governments from enforcing new federal gun regulations.
The head of the Texas Municipal Police Association says the new legislation will make it tougher for officers to determine whether someone carrying a gun is allowed to, per Reuters
. (Read more gun laws