Important Texas Laws Going Into Effect This September

Many new laws will be implemented in September 2021. Some of these laws have been championed by Texans while others have been a source of contention at a national level. Regardless of where you stand on these matters, these are the new laws you can expect to be enforced in Texas starting this month.

Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Ban

Gov. Greg Abbot signed a new abortion ban bill into law in May 2021. This jaw-droppingly restrictive policy is one of the most restrictive abortion policies in the United States. It bans abortion procedures after 6 short weeks of pregnancy when many women are unaware they’re even with child. The abortion ban has been criticized at a national level. Many people consider it an unacceptable infringement on women’s rights because many people don’t even know what they’re expecting at this point. Meanwhile, others have championed the policy for upholding their religious values.

While this bill doesn’t spell out jail time, it does open up women who have an abortion to the possibility of a lawsuit. Private citizens will be able to sue anyone who participated in the abortion procedure or assisted them in getting one. 

Permitless Carry

Texas has strong roots as a part of the Wild West, so it’s no wonder Texans love their guns! We have been legally allowed to carry them in public since 1995. This is when President Bush signed the concealed carry bill into law. More recently though, people were required to get a special license if they wanted to carry their weapons on public property. Well, that’s no longer the case! Now, anyone who has the right to buy a gun in Texas can also carry their holstered weapon in public. 

Permitless carry basically means anyone over 21 who hasn’t been convicted for a felony or domestic violence in the last 5 years can buy and publicly display their firearm. Guns can now be unconcealed, but they must remain in a holster. This is a huge step forward for Constitution supporters who advocate for gun rights. Texans haven’t experienced this level of freedom since the Reconstruction.

Ban Critical Race Theory

Critical race theory is the practice of examining the intersection of race and laws in the United States. Still, there has been a lot of debate about what critical race theory is. Supporters posit that it’s not what people think it is. It simply examines institutional inequities like housing, education, and the judicial system, and should be a part of school curriculums. 

Opponents of critical race theory argue that showing non-people of color as historical oppressors is unfair to the modern non-POC. HB 3979 sponsor Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, says the new law is aimed at teaching complex subjects like slavery and racism without making white children feel guilty. Some parents have also expressed concern that their children may be influenced by rhetoric they disagree with. 

Regardless of where you stand on the matter, critical race theory can no longer be taught in the state of Texas. Teachers also aren’t allowed to offer extra credit for civil engagement activities like volunteering or activism. 

Expanding Medical Cannabis Access

Support for marijuana legalization in Texas has been growing steadily in recent years. Now, roughly 60% of Texans believe weed should be legal for medical and recreational use. While Texas hasn’t loosened the reigns on recreational marijuana, the government has made concessions for medical marijuana. Now, more people are eligible to use low-THC medical cannabis oil as a part of the compassionate use program

Texas is also allowing people to use more THC in cannabis oil. Under HB 1535, medical cannabis oil’s percent of THC — the ingredient in marijuana that can produce a psychological high, can increase from .5% to 1%. Anyone with cancer is eligible to use medical marijuana and many who suffer from medical marijuana. This is a huge advancement because previously only veterans were eligible. 

If you find yourself in trouble for recreational drug use, our drug defense attorneys are here to help!

Criminal Defense Attorney Arlington

These are just a few of the Texas laws that went into effect in September 2021. Some of them can be difficult to navigate, and you may even find yourself in trouble with the law. If you have questions about the logistics of these new laws or need an Arlington criminal defense attorney– the law office of Davis, Ermis, & Roberts is at your service. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll ensure you get a fair shake when your court date rolls around.