AUSTIN (KXAN) — A bill was filed in the Texas Senate Wednesday that would give all Texans the right to bear firearms in church. This comes one day after the Senate honored Stephen Willeford, who is considered a hero due to his actions during the Sutherland Springs church shooting that killed 26.
Senate Bill 535 was filed by State Senator Donna Campbell from San Antonio. The bill aims to secure gun rights for Texans who wish to carry in churches or other places of worship. SB 535 would not infringe upon the rights of a church to prohibit guns on their property if they choose.
“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,” said Campbell in a recent press release. “It makes no sense to disarm the good guys and leave law-abiding citizens defenseless where violent offenders break the law to do great harm.”
Additionally SB 535 would lessen penalties for any licensed citizen who unwittingly carries their gun into a prohibited area. On the other hand, the bill also increases the penalty for an armed individual who fails to comply after being told to leave a certain area from a misdemeanor to a felony.
“The existing statute is confusing and clunky when it comes to clearly stating the rights of licensed Texans to carry on the premises of a church. This bill provides clarity of the Legislature’s intent to treat churches in the same manner as other privately owned establishments in Texas,” Senator Campbell said.