Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a raft of far-reaching criminal reform bills into law since he was sworn in as the state’s 50th governor in January 2015.
Texas has seen gun rights rolled out and bills intended to increase security on the border with Mexico enacted in that time.
The Border Security Bill signed in 2015, was described by the Texas Tribune as the last piece of a concerted effort by lawmakers to bolster the size of the state police presence along with border between Texas and Mexico and to improve technology and intelligence operations.
The bill carried a hefty price tag of $310 million and was part of an $800 million security effort on the border.
It allowed the hiring of additional troopers and gave the Department of Public Safety the power to expedite hiring some military veterans who were honorably discharged. It ushered in higher penalties for human smuggling and created a new intelligence center on the border to analyze crime statistics.
Abbott signed some far-reaching gun reforms during his first year as governor. The open carry law that allows licensed gun holders to display their weapons in public places came into effect at the start of 2016.
He signed the so called “campus carry” law that allows concealed firearms on university campuses.
The law allowed guns in most areas at four-year public universities from Aug. 1, 2016. Licensed gun holders will be able to carry firearms at two-year and junior colleges from Aug. 1, 2017. Private colleges have an opt-out option.
Abbott said the new legislation means Texans can be sure their Second Amendment rights will be stronger and more secure than ever before.
However, the “campus carry” law attracted strong opposition from many academics. Universities are allowed to set up “gun-free zones” but cannot generally ban firearms.
In the wake of a series of police shootings, Abbott highlighted his support for a bill that makes violence against police officers a hate crime.
After the killing of Benjamin Marconi, 50, a police officer in San Antonio, Abbott repeated his support for a new hate crimes law for violence against police officers in the state.
He has put forward the Police Protection Act which will be voted on early this year.
If you have been accused of a crime in Texas you will likely to facing a tough sentence. It makes sense to hire an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. Call us at (682) 204-4066.