Victory in Austin!
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“Gun-free” zones don’t work. They just disarm law-abiding citizens and create a safe haven for criminals.
So we’d like to thank Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for his work in getting rid of unlawful “gun-free” zones!
Last week, a Travis County district court returned a favorable verdict in a gun rights case that General Paxton has been fighting for over two years. The City of Austin had violated state law by refusing to allow a law-abiding citizen to carry a handgun inside City Hall. General Paxton sued the City of Austin for trampling our right to bear arms. The court agreed with the arguments his team delivered at last month’s trial and has now fined the City of Austin $9,000.
General Paxton said in a statement released last week, “The district court’s ruling preserves and protects the Second Amendment rights of Texans and sends a strong message to the city of Austin that they are bound by the same laws as all other Texans. The city of Austin cannot violate the open carry law or any other law the Texas Legislature has enacted simply because they disagree with it.”
He promised to continue to stand up for our rights: “If the city of Austin appeals the district court’s decision, my office will continue to strongly defend the right of law-abiding Texans to keep and bear arms in accordance with our handgun laws.”
The fight isn’t over yet. We can assume that this case will be appealed all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court before we get a final ruling. This can be a time-consuming process.
Another important case is pending and expected to go to trial soon. That case deals with the Waller County multi-purpose courthouse — a building that houses courtrooms but also other offices unrelated to court proceedings. General Paxton filed suit against Waller County for prohibiting carry throughout the entire building when state law only indicates that courtrooms and offices utilized by the court are prohibited places. This decision could also be appealed all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court.
I am aware that there are many more local government entities across Texas who have posted illegal signage prohibiting gun carry. Once we see final positive rulings in the City of Austin and Waller County cases, we fully expect the Attorney General to turn his attention to these additional violations.
If you are aware of a violation in your area, I encourage you to follow the procedure laid out by our laws and which are promoted by the Attorney General’s Office (CLICK HERE to see more).
Here are some additional resources that may help you:
- Government Code 411.209 — Texas law that forbids state agencies and local government entities from prohibiting carry in places where state law hasn’t already created a “gun-free” zone
- Penal Code 46.03 and Penal Code 46.035 — the places where state law creates a “gun-free” zone
- Attorney General ruling on where carry can be prohibited in multi-purpose courthouse buildings
- My testimony in front of a City Council that had enacted an unlawful ordinance prohibiting carry. I encourage you to adapt it and present similar testimony at your city council or county commissioner meetings.
If you’d like my help in reporting a violation or presenting testimony at a meeting, please reach out at [email protected]m.org or 512-937-3006. I’m always happy to do what I can to get rid of bad gun regulations!
And once again, I’d like to thank Attorney General Paxton for his continued work as Texas’ top law enforcement officer to ensure that governmental entities do not get to disrespect state law upholding our God-given right to keep and bear arms!
Texas Director, Gun Owners of America