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New laws now in effect

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A slew of new laws took effect yesterday across the state of Texas, ranging from constitutional carry to new regulations on the teaching of Critical Race Theory and changes to medical marijuana rules; below is a brief rundown of some of the new rules approved during the 87th Texas Legislative session.

HB 1927 – Constitutional Carry

Any Texan over the age of 21 can now carry handguns in the state without a permit, as long as they are not prohibited from carrying a firearm for any other legal reason. The new law applies to both open and concealed carry. Essentially the requirement to obtain a license and background check has been eliminated.

SB 968 Vaccine Passports

The practice of asking for proof of vaccination by any business in the state of Texas is illegal.

HB 929 – Body-Cams

Police officers are now required to wear body cameras at any point during an investigation.

HB 1518 – Beer and Wine on Sundays

The new law expands the times that the sale of beer and wine may be sold on Sundays. The new law will move the start of sales from the longstanding Noon to 10 am until Midnight each Sunday. This rule does not apply to the sale of liquor which is still unavailable on Sunday.

HB 1540 – Paying for Sex

Texas has increased the penalty for the crime of paying for sex to a felony from a misdemeanor.

HB 1239 – Church Closures

Places of worship may not be ordered shut by any government agency or political official.

SB 8 – Heartbeat Bill

Abortions in Texas are now illegal once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

HB 3979 - Critical Race Theory

This law eliminates the teaching of critical race theory in the state of Texas. The law adds requirements for the inclusion of specific topics to the public school curriculum. It outlaws any teacher training dealing with race and sex. Finally, it bars some activities from qualifying for grades or credit in the classroom.

SB 4 – Star-Spangled Banner Protection Act

The law requires the playing of the National Anthem before any professional sporting event for teams that have contracts with the state of Texas.