As Texas rang in 2016, Texans gained the ability to openly carry firearms into state mental health facilities. Visitors to one of Texas’ 10 state mental health hospitals will be allowed to openly carry weapons into the facilities. Employees and patients will still be barred from bringing in weapons. Hospitals on Friday began pulling down signs banning guns at its facilities and posted new signs asking people to leave their firearms in their cars or conceal them from patients.
The act comes from a set of new laws enacted this year, which allows Texans with a gun license to legally carry a holstered firearm without concealing it and bans state agencies from posting signs telling people they cannot carry guns on property. A separate law will allow licensed gun owners to carry firearms into public universities starting Aug. 1. Private businesses could choose whether to allow firearms on their premises. The law sparked angry debate between supporters and opponents who claim guns in eateries and colleges could upset peaceful environments. Several businesses including Target, Whole Foods and Whataburger have opted to not allow guns into their Texas establishments. Gun-rights advocates have threatened boycotts on businesses that don’t allow guns.
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