AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Less than four months after a Texas law allowing people to carry guns in churches went into effect, two parishioners at a church in White Settlement, Texas, fatally shot a gunman when he opened fire in the church during Sunday Service.
The law went into effect on Sept. 1st of this year. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a press conference Dec. 29 that thanks to that law, an “untold number of lives” were saved.
“This church had its own security team. They were well-trained. The heroism today is unparalleled. This team responded quickly and within 6 seconds, the shooting was over,” Patrick said. “Had the shooter been able to indiscriminately start firing at the parishioners, we would have had many more lives lost today.”
The new state law, borne after the deadly attack in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017, strikes down a previous provision that said handguns are not allowed in churches, synagogues, or other places of worship.
The new law attempts to clear up what one state lawmaker calls “confusion.”
“The purpose of my bill was to give clarity that you can carry in church unless the church says posts a sign that says ‘You May Not Carry,’” State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, said.
Under the 2019 law, licensed gun holders can carry in places of worship unless their religious leaders specifically prohibit the weapons.