More security, difficult talks: North Texas arts groups prepare for new gun law

More security, difficult talks: North Texas arts groups prepare for new gun law

In addition to signage banning guns (shown here on Aug. 31) in downtown Dallas’ AT&T Performing Arts Center, guests are also screened for weapons at its venues. Editor’s note: As local arts venues are still dealing with how to keep guests safe from COVID, add one more concern: guns. A new Texas law goes into effect Sept. 1 that allows people 21 and older to carry a gun in public without a permit. KERA and The Dallas Morning News are collaborating to learn how venue leaders are preparing for this change. Mary Pat Higgins, president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum , is concerned. “This new law has us — has me — concerned about the safety of Texans in their daily lives,” says Higgins, referring to the hottest talking point now enveloping the Lone Star State: The sweeping new gun law that takes effect today. The law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June , will allow permitless carry of handguns for citizens 21 and older — if they have a clean criminal record. Those who qualify will be able to carry a concealed handgun or carry one in public, if holstered. From the moment he approved the law, Abbott’s pro-gun blessing sent shock waves through a state that, since 1982, trails only California and Florida in mass shootings. The Washington Post reported on July 7 that more than 1,800 people had been injured or killed in mass shootings in the U.S. in 2021. […]

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