HOUSTON, TEXAS — The City of Houston is voluntarily removing signage prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms from many of its locations – including the Houston Zoo. ABC 13 covered the story of attorney Edwin Walker filing a complaint that some municipal buildings were prohibiting concealed carriers illegally following the enactment of Texas Senate Bill 273.
As quoted, SB 273 reads:
“A political subdivision of the State may not provide notice a concealed handgun licensee is prohibited from entering or remaining on its property unless license holders are actually prohibited by law from carrying a handgun on the premises.”
That means that any public location that the State of Texas has not deemed a “gun free zone” cannot arbitrarily decide to prohibit lawful concealed carriers from having their firearm on them.
For those unfamiliar, private property holders may post “30.06” signage stating the prohibition of individuals carrying a firearm (concealed or otherwise) onto the premises. That is a right of being a private property owner in the State of Texas but it does not extend to municipal or county buildings that have not already been identified as areas where the prohibition of firearms is allowed.
Walker, the attorney heading up this case, sees the municipality’s actions as largely illegal. Since SB 273 was enacted into law almost a decade ago, Walker said there was no excuse for Houston and other municipalities to selectively ignore it at-will.
And fines for failing to comply? Steep, to say the least.
Via ABC 13:
State and local governments that prevent those legally licensed to carry a concealed weapon on most of their public property can face a $1,500 daily fine for continuing to display the gun ban signs. A second violation carries a fine of more than $10,000 fine each day the signs remain.
So, it’s plain to see that as soon as Walker launched the case – Houston had little choice but to comply. SB 273 is the law of the land and ignoring it carries a hefty penalty. In the meantime, Texan concealed carriers in Houston should now take this opportunity to enjoy the fantastic wildlife contained inside.