30.06 Ruling Letters

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ELB
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#121

Post by ELB » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:13 am

tool4daman wrote:I may be wrong, but...

I thought I had heard from one of the Texas Firearms Coalition podcasts that the off limits for school functions only applies to grounds under the school’s control. Otherwise, if you are eating in a restaurant, and a school bus full of kids on a field trip stop in, you are in violation.

So I don’t get how the City Hall could be off limits because of school field trips.
I was under that impression too, but also I have not seen all of the City's and the OAG's documents/briefs on this, so not sure exactly what they are talking about. It may be that if the Austin ISD and City Hall have a formal agreement to do certain school activities at the City Hall building (which is alluded to in the judge's ruling), that falls into the school-sponsored basket. That would be a different situation than a school bus stopping at McDonalds. But this is only speculation on my part.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#122

Post by Soccerdad1995 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:51 am

ELB wrote:
tool4daman wrote:I may be wrong, but...

I thought I had heard from one of the Texas Firearms Coalition podcasts that the off limits for school functions only applies to grounds under the school’s control. Otherwise, if you are eating in a restaurant, and a school bus full of kids on a field trip stop in, you are in violation.

So I don’t get how the City Hall could be off limits because of school field trips.
I was under that impression too, but also I have not seen all of the City's and the OAG's documents/briefs on this, so not sure exactly what they are talking about. It may be that if the Austin ISD and City Hall have a formal agreement to do certain school activities at the City Hall building (which is alluded to in the judge's ruling), that falls into the school-sponsored basket. That would be a different situation than a school bus stopping at McDonalds. But this is only speculation on my part.
But the scary thing is that such an agreement might be too similar to a High School sports team renting out the back room of a restaurant for their team dinner / awards ceremony. Suddenly all the other patrons of that restaurant would be at risk of unknowingly committing a crime.
Ding dong, the witch is dead

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ELB
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#123

Post by ELB » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:02 pm

Further summarizing, for my own benefit if no one else's:

The AG complained that the
1. Gunbuster sign and the
2. oral warnings by security officers at the main entrance(s) of City Hall
violated the provisions of "fines for signs" law because they prevented LTC holders from carrying in the parts of City Hall that were not courtrooms, and the definition of "premises" restricts the city to controlling LTC carry only in courtrooms.

The City argued that they were not in violation because they could ban LTC carry throughout the entire building for three reasons:
1. City Hall contains rooms that are used as courts, and the "premises" definition means the whole building can be restricted.
2. The "school-sponsored activity" prohibition on LTC carry applies because the Peoples Art Gallery displays Austin ISD student artwork through an agreement between the City and AISD.
3. The "open meetings" prohibition on LTC carry applies because the city holds open meetings under Gov Code 511.

The judge decided:
1. The gunbuster sign has no effect on LTC carry, so the city is not in violation of the "fines for signs" law. In general this is a good thing for LTC holders.
2. On "premises:
a. The "building or portion of building" definition of "premises" means the City gets to choose whether to prohibit LTC carry only in court rooms or thoughout the whole building. BUT,
b. There is a temporal restriction on the location restriction: the City may ban LTC carry throughout the whole building ONLY when the courtrooms are being used. If the court meets only 3 or 4 times a month, the building may not be restricted from licensed carry for the entire month. This is not as good as we would like but this is still a win, or at least not a complete loss for licensed carry.
3. Passive display of student artwork does not constitute "school sponsored activity" and the city cannot use that to ban LTC carry. This is a win. However it appears that "school-sponsored activity" can occur in the City Hall, and licensed carry can be restricted ONLY during those times (again, a temporal restriction on that prohibition).
4. Prohibition of licensed carry in City Hall during meetings that meet the requirements of GC 511 open meetings can be enforced only during the times of the meetings and only for the rooms that the meetings occur in. This is another win.

The judge did not decide:
1. Whether the "oral communications" of the security officers were violations of the "fines for signs" law. This will depend on
a. Whether the oral communications were delivered when NO court was in session and/or NO school-sponsored activity was being conducted, and
b. Whether the oral communications met the requirements of GC 411.209 (fines for signs section).

These are apparently the issues that will be hashed out at trial.

Whether an oral communication must meet certain criteria, like having to explicitly refer to 30.06, to have legal effect on a LTC holder is an interesting question!
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#124

Post by locke_n_load » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:30 pm

This ruling has huge implications once said and done. If carrying anywhere that a field trip is taking place, you can become an automatic felon without even knowing you are breaking the law. Ridiculous. Hope this goes all the way up the chain, even since the OAG is definitely not on our side.
"They that would give up Essential Liberty, for a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#125

Post by bigtek » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:48 pm

Remember that when it's time to vote.
Deck the halls with nitroglycerin
Fa la la la la la la la la!
Strike a match and see who's missin'
Fa la la la la la la la la!


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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#126

Post by Abraham » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:55 pm

I second bigtek...

"Remember that when it's time to vote."

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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#127

Post by ELB » Sat May 26, 2018 11:39 am

This month something has happened in court in the case of KEN PAXTON V CITY OF AUSTIN D1-GN-16-003340, but I can't tell what it is so far.

The Online Case Information shows that starting at the end of March a flurry of Motions, Responses, and Letters occurred, and some kind of Order was issued on 5/21, with the Plaintiff (that's the AG) following up with three actions on 5/24, but I can't really make head or tail out of it because the documents themselves are not available, only the fact that certain types of actions and documents exist.

I dont't feel like it's good news since one of the AG's followup actions was entitled "OBJECTIONS" but I don't really know.

If it wasn't Saturday I'd call the AG's office, but guess will have to wait until next week.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#128

Post by dlh » Sat May 26, 2018 11:48 am

Too bad non-parties cannot access and read on-line the underlying court records. If memory serves the District and County Clerks' offices opposed open access in the last legislative session because of their anticipated loss of $$$ for charging the public for hard copies of those records.
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ELB
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#129

Post by ELB » Sat May 26, 2018 12:08 pm

dlh wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 11:48 am
...District and County Clerks' offices opposed open access in the last legislative session because of their anticipated loss of $$$ for charging the public for hard copies of those records.
That would not surprise me. I believe you can get them in electronic form, but you still have to pay the Travis clerks to do so.

The Texas Municipal League often posts copies of court orders/decisions on their site, will keep an eye out for that.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#130

Post by ELB » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:24 pm

In the Attorney General's case against the City of Austin over its City Hall signage and policies, it appears the City filed for some kind of summary judgment on 5/10/18. The two parties exchange various legal paperwork and responses since then, and it appears the judge denied the City's motion for summary judgment on 6/22.

However, without access to the actual documents this is just guesswork. It does indicate that the case is trundling along, however slowly.
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ELB
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#131

Post by ELB » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:45 pm

On 6/29 an 7/2 the Attorney General filed five affidavits with the court handling the AG's lawsuit against against the City of Austin about their signs and actions to prohibit license carry in their combo court/city hall building.

The judge has already ruled that the City can bar licensed carry from the entire building even if there are non-court offices in the building; BUT only during the times that court is in session. She noted that it could not be determined whether the City had violated the fines-for-signs law because there was no evidence in the filings as to when court was in session and when it was not (and whether licensed carry was prohibited when court was not in session).

I am guessing that the affidavits filed by the AG document those times when court was not in session but licensed carry was prohibited. This is just a guess since I do not want to shell out the $$ or take the time to get Travis county to sell me copies of the documents. On the other hand, both sides have changed lawyers recently, so maybe the affidavits have something do with that. Or something else entirely.

The case moves forward at all due legal speed.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#132

Post by BBYC » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:49 pm

Three boxes down. One to go.
God, grant me serenity to accept the things I can't change
Courage to change the things I can
And the firepower to make a difference.

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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#133

Post by ELB » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:32 pm

The wheels of justice grind on ever so slowly. The online case information for the AG's suit against Austin shows the following action for Friday 8/17/18:

"8/17/2018 DF AMENDED/SUPPLEMENTED ANSWER "

"DF" is Defendant, i.e. City of Austin.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#134

Post by Jusme » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:19 pm

ELB wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:32 pm
The wheels of justice grind on ever so slowly. The online case information for the AG's suit against Austin shows the following action for Friday 8/17/18:

"8/17/2018 DF AMENDED/SUPPLEMENTED ANSWER "

"DF" is Defendant, i.e. City of Austin.
(facepalm)

This is why, the Legislature, should take up this issue again, and amend/stipulate/specify, exactly, in all cases, whether or not, when and where the city/county/State, can prohibit, carry.

This should have never been left up to the AG to render opinions, or file lawsuits, to get something done, that should be settled law.

I have already flooded, my reps with emails, demanding that they either author, or at least co-sponsor, a bill to make it legal, for LTC holders to carry everywhere, LEO can carry. Until we get a law passed, there will be an unending backlog of cases, like this, that will never get settled, to the extent that they should be. JMHO
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#135

Post by ELB » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:24 pm

I just called the OAG's office and learned a couple things. Note that the following is my summary/interpretation/deduction of what I heard. Keep in mind that the last set of Ruling Letters/Violation Letters was issued on 15 Aug 17, i.e. about a year ago.

- He didn't have exact number at hand, but in 2018 there have probably been less than five complaints filed with the OAG. I believe there are a few more from the 2017 pending. Some complaints have been resolved short of an actual ruling letter (and so not posted on the website) by contacting the offending government entity soon after the complaint came in, and those entities voluntarily came into compliance (or, I presume, the complaint was not legally valid) without further official action.

- The Austin City case is the big effort right now, and it consumes a lot of resources (looks to me they have help from outside counsel as well as OAG lawyers). The OAG's case against Waller County case is also open. A lot of determinations (at least with respect to courts and court premises) may be resolved or at least strongly affected by the Austin City case. So anything to do with courthouses is "pending", and a lot of enforcement actions are being held in abatement.

- There are some other complaints that might require litigation to resolve. Because even a single case takes a lot of time and effort, they are looking at various strategies to deal with them short of litigation, but don't want to disclose that to me or anyone else at the moment.

- Depending on what happens with the Austin City case and the other potential cases, they may have some suggestions for the Legislature on how to clarify some things in the law.

==> The case against the City of Austin will be heard during the week of 9/17, or about two weeks from now. UPDATE: Hearing scheduled for 0900 on 17 Sep.

If you feel strongly about an invalid sign posting, I strongly suggest you use the statutory procedure and submit a complaint to the OAG. It will go on the appropriate stack for awhile, but it will provide ammo for later, like for calculating fines or telling the Legislature how many entities are flaunting the law. For a fine to take effect, the OAG has to go through the process and issue a Violation Letter, and IIRC, it is not until 15 days after that the daily fine starts accruing. Austin will owe a bunch of money if they lose, but any building with a court in it that is completely offlimits is getting a free ride if there is no complaint on file.
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