DALLAS, TEXAS — In Texas, city-owned property is fair game for concealed carriers. Yet, for places like the Dallas Zoo, “no guns” signs mar the entranceway theoretically preventing law-abiding gun owners from entering the premises. It’s a subject of terse debate amongst Texans and it’s soon to be remedied through direct petitions to the Attorney General’s office.
Starting in September, Texans will have a formal process by which to complain to the state attorney general about government entities that might wrongfully bar concealed guns.
According to the new legislature set to take effect, the State of Texas actually has a means to enforce the law. The Attorney General is obliged to investigate claims regarding a city or county’s designation of a “gun free” zone that fall outside the state’s guidelines for prohibited areas for firearms. Fines could reach in excess of $10,500 a day for publicly owned areas that are illegally designed “gun free”.
This has met with tense opposition from those in the Texas legislature who support anti-gun measures.
“We are beginning to experience the unintended consequences of these gun laws,” said Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Dallas Democrat who voted against open carry and other major gun bills this year. “These proponents … are insatiable and will continue to elevate what they perceive as their unfettered right to carry arms.”
What Rep. Anchia (D) is referring to is the impending implementation of the new broad brush-stroke gun laws set to go into motion in both September and next January. Next January, Texans will be allowed to openly carry with their license.
For those who wish they lived in a world completely divorced from firearms – except when dealing with the harsh realities of criminals – this is an anathema to their idea of a “gun free” Texas.
But for concealed carriers, they’re using these new bills as a means to lawfully carry where state law allows. In its present condition, private businesses are allowed to post the nefarious “30.06” required sign banning firearms from the premises. Cities and counties – especially parks and recreation facilities – have either wittingly or unwittingly attempted to do the same. That, according to Texan state law, is outside the boundaries of their jurisdiction.
So, are concealed carriers making Texas a better governed and regulated place through pursuing the actual implementation of Texas law?
It could be argued that because there is such a push to ensure Texas state law is uniformly applied that it, indeed, does force this conversation about where and when a concealed carrier may keep his personal firearm on him. Addressing the issue directly keeps it from sliding into the sidelines and being ignored – where city and county officials may seek to take powers that are not theirs to hold.
Do you think Texas residents ought be treated uniformly throughout the state or do you believe cities and counties are justified in implementing gun policies that are excessive to the state laws? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.