New Texas laws to take effect Sept. 1

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Before it adjourned in May, the 86th Texas Legislature passed 1,229 bills. Most of them will take effect beginning Sept. 1, ranging from gun laws to laws pertaining to lemonade stands.

Guns 

The Texas Legislature passed nine new gun laws, loosening restrictions on where guns are allowed. 

HB 1177 will give people the right to carry a handgun without a license for up to 48 hours during declared state and local disasters. The bill also allows disaster shelters to admit evacuees with firearms. 

SB 535 allows guns to be carried in churches, synagogues and other established places of worship. However, established places of worship may still prohibit weapons on their premises. 

SB 741 will prevent Texas property owners’ associations from banning the storage and carrying of guns on their rental properties. Likewise, HB 302 will prevent landlords from restricting the carrying of firearms by tenants, and they cannot be restricted in lease agreements. 

HB 1387 will eliminate the cap on how many school marshals can carry guns on school campuses, while HB 1143 will allow licensed gun owners to store their firearms and ammunition in private vehicles on school campuses, as long as it is out of plain view.  

HB 2363 will allow certain foster homes to store firearms and ammunition, provided they are stored together in a locked location.

Sexual Assault

Several laws relating to sexual assault were also signed into law. 

SB 1259 will expand the parameters of the definiton of sexual assault to include health care service providers who use human reproductive material from a donor without consent. It will be considered a felony offense. 

HB 2789 will make the electronic transmission of sexually explicit material a Class C misdemeanor, if the recipient has not provided consent. The law will apply to other platforms such as email, dating apps and social media as well. 

HB 8 will establish timelines for processing and testing sexual assault kids. Survivors will have seven days to have a forensic exam completed. Kits will then be analyzed within 90 days of receipt of the evidence and will require the evidence be preserved for at least 40 years or until the statute of limitations expires.  

SB 20 will make it easier for sexual assault survivors to move on by concealing their criminal history.

Booze On-The-Go

Texans will be able to get booze on the go with the enactment of a few new laws. 

SB 1232 will allow restaurants, bars and businesses to deliver alcohol with food to homes or other off-premises locations.

HB 1545 will allow craft breweries to sell beer to-go. It will be limited to one case per person per day.

Other Laws

HB 446 will make brass knuckles legal to carry. 

HB 1518 will require individuals to be 18 to purchase over-the-counter cough syrups that contain dextromethorphan. 

SB 21 raises the minimum age for tobacco sales from 18 to 21. 

HB 234 will make children’s unlicensed lemonade stands legal.

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