AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Senator Donna Campbell has filed a bill to secure the rights of Texans to lawfully carry in churches and other established places of worship.

Senate Bill 535 doesn't restrict the rights of churches to prohibit weapons on their property if they choose or to post related signs, which most privately owned properties in Texas are legally at liberty to do.

"The existing statute is confusing and clunky when it comes to clearly stating the rights of licensed Texans to carry on the premises of a church," Sen. Campbell said. "This bill provides clarity of the legislature's intent to treat churches in the same manner as other privately owned establishments in Texas."

Senate Bill 535 also reduces penalties for licensed Texans who unknowingly carry in prohibited areas. 

Additionally, it increases the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony for armed people who are told to leave certain properties where weapons are prohibited and don't leave.