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Police cars and tape block off a crime scene nearby to where a gunman was shot and killed at Cinergy Odessa movie theater. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

A slate of new Texas laws intended to loosen gun restrictions went into effect on Sunday, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The new measures, passed by Republican state legislators in the last session, became law 1 day after Texas' 2nd mass shooting in August. Texas has had 4 of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. modern history, according to CNN. The laws will make it easier to carry firearms in several places, including schools and churches.

What's changing:

  • Schools districts won't be able to restrict licensed gun owners, including employees, from keeping a firearm or ammunition in a locked vehicle on school property as long as it isn't in plain sight.
  • Restrictions on how many armed school marshals a school may appoint will be loosened.
  • Licensed handgun owners will be allowed to carry their weapons in places of worship such as churches and synagogues.
  • Some foster homes will be able to store firearms and ammunition as long as they're in a safe and locked location.
  • Landlords and homeowners will no longer be able to keep residents from "lawfully possessing, carrying, transporting, or storing a firearm, any part of a firearm, or firearm ammunition in the applicable property."
  • Residents will no longer be charged with a crime for carrying a handgun when evacuating from a disaster area.

Go deeper

20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP fights itself on shutdown politics

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.

First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.