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Law That Allows Guns To Be Carried Inside Texas Churches Took Effect In September

WHITE SETTLEMENT, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Armed parishioners are being credited with saving lives after a gunman opened fire inside a North Texas church Sunday morning. Texas officials are also praising a law that went into effect this year that allows guns to be carried inside churches.

A suspect, who has not yet been identified, shot and killed two men during communion inside West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement just before 11 a.m. That suspect was then fatally shot by an armed guard within seconds.

A livestream of the church's service captured the incident as it unfolded. Multiple parishioners could be seen taking out their guns as the suspect fired his weapon.

Senate Bill 535, which recently went into effect on Sept. 1, allows licensed owners to carry their guns inside churches unless they are given notice that they may not.

Lt. Gov Dan Patrick spoke during a news conference Sunday evening at the church and talked about the new law.

"In December 2017, I asked the attorney general for an opinion on could you carry a weapon if you had a concealed permit in a church. We believed you could but we wanted the attorney general's opinion, and we turned that into law, Senate Bill 535 was signed into law by Gov. Abbott this past session," Patrick said.

A law was also previously passed in 2017 that allowed Texas churches to have armed volunteer security.

"This church had its own security team. They were well-trained," Patrick said. "The heroism today was unparalleled. This team responded quickly, and within six seconds, the shooting was over."

FULL COVERAGE: North Texas Church Shooting

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