More than 600 new laws signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott went into effect Wednesday, Sept. 1. These new laws, including the Heartbeat Bill, constitutional carry legislation, and laws that protect law enforcement, were passed during the 87th Legislative Session.
“The 87th Legislative Session was a monumental success, and many of the laws will ensure a safer, freer, healthier, and more prosperous Texas,” said Gov. Abbott. “I look forward to my continued work with the legislature to build upon these successes and create an even brighter future for the Lone Star State.”
(Note: A full list of new laws can be found at https://capitol.texas.gov/Reports/Report.aspx?LegSess=87R&ID=effectivesept1.)
Included in the new laws are:
• House Bill 9 enhances the criminal penalty to a state jail felony offense for anyone who knowingly blocks an emergency vehicle or obstructs access to a hospital or health care facility.
• House Bill 103 creates an Active Shooter Alert System in Texas.
• House Bill 365 creates civil liability protections for farmers and ranchers.
• House Bill 547 allows home-schooled students to participate in UIL activities.
• House Bill 957 repeals the criminal offense of possessing, manufacturing, transporting, or repairing a firearm silencer. It also ensures that any firearm suppressor manufactured in Texas, and that remains in Texas, will not be subject to federal law or federal regulation.
• House Bill 1280 will outlaw abortion in Texas after Roe v. Wade is overturned.
• House Bill 1500 prevents any government entity from prohibiting the sale or transportation of firearms or ammunition during a declared disaster or emergency.
• House Bill 1900 penalizes cities that defund their police departments. The law freezes property tax revenues for cities with a population over 250,000 that defund the police. Under this law, cities that defund the police will lose their annexation powers for 10 years and any area annexed by a defunding city in the past 30 years can vote to dis-annex from the city. It also allows the State of Texas to withhold sales taxes collected by a defunding city and give it to the Texas Department of Public Safety to pay for the cost of state resources used to protect residents of a defunded municipality.
• House Bill 1925 prohibits camping in public spaces.
• House Bill 1927 authorizes Constitutional Carry in Texas, meaning law-abiding Texans can legally carry a handgun without a license to carry.
• House Bill 2366 enhances criminal penalties for the use of laser pointers and creates an offense for the use of fireworks to harm or obstruct the police.
• House Bill 2622 makes Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State by protecting Texans from new federal gun control regulations.
• House Bill 3257 creates the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Anti-Semitism Advisory Commission.
• House Bill 3712 provides increased training and transparency during the hiring process for peace officers.
• Senate Bill 8 (“The Heartbeat Bill”) bans abortion the moment a baby’s heartbeat is detected in the womb.
• Senate Bill 13 prohibits state contracts and investments with companies that boycott energy companies.
• Senate Bill 19 prohibits any governmental entity from contracting with any business that discriminates against firearm and ammunition businesses or organizations.
• Senate Bill 20 allows guests to store firearms in their hotel rooms.
• Senate Bill 23 requires voter approval to reduce law enforcement budgets in counties with a population of more than one million. If voter approval is not received, but the county still defunds the police, the county’s property tax revenue will be frozen.
• Senate Bill 24 requires police departments to review files of applicants before they are hired to ensure officers with a negative history aren›t passed between departments.
• Senate Bill 550 removes the shoulder or belt holster requirements, allowing Texans to carry firearms in whatever kind of holster they choose.
• Senate Bill 576 creates a felony offense for the smuggling of persons into Texas.
• Senate Bill 768 enhances criminal penalties for manufacturing and distributing fentanyl in Texas