City courthouse with 30.06 and 30.07 sign. Legal?

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azwe
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City courthouse with 30.06 and 30.07 sign. Legal?

#1

Post by azwe »

I'm getting very conflicting information on this but I was under the impression that state courthouses could not legally post 30.06 and 30.07 signs on their property. The Forney Sub-Courthouse has both posted on the outside of their door. Are they allowed to do that? If not, how do I get them to remove it?

Gunguy21
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Re: City courthouse with 30.06 and 30.07 sign. Legal?

#2

Post by Gunguy21 »

Do they have offices other than those used by the courts? If so, they can’t ban the whole building, just the courtroom and court offices. However, courthouses are a prohibited location. They don’t have to post 30.06 or 30.07. It’s sill a class 3 felony for an individual with an LTC to carry at a courthouse, regardless of any signage. Please see Texas penal code 46.03, it expressly states having an LTC is not a defense to prosecution.
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Re: City courthouse with 30.06 and 30.07 sign. Legal?

#3

Post by Vol Texan »

Gunguy21 wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:52 am Do they have offices other than those used by the courts? If so, they can’t ban the whole building, just the courtroom and court offices. However, courthouses are a prohibited location. They don’t have to post 30.06 or 30.07. It’s sill a class 3 felony for an individual with an LTC to carry at a courthouse, regardless of any signage. Please see Texas penal code 46.03, it expressly states having an LTC is not a defense to prosecution.


This is incorrect, and I recommend you re-read PC §46.03.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a) :
<snip>
(3)on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;
Please note that the word courthouse does not exist in PC §46.03. The term used is 'premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court'. Several 30.06 Ruling Letters (link) have been issued by the Attorney General regarding courthouses that completely ban legal carry, and he frequently references how the entire building should not be off limits. Only the offices necessary for the court should be posted.


Back to the OP's question:
azwe wrote: Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:42 pm I'm getting very conflicting information on this but I was under the impression that state courthouses could not legally post 30.06 and 30.07 signs on their property. The Forney Sub-Courthouse has both posted on the outside of their door. Are they allowed to do that? If not, how do I get them to remove it?
The Texas Attorney General provides guidance on what you should do: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/30 ... -complaint. Best of luck to you in getting this successfully challenged!
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Gunguy21
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Re: City courthouse with 30.06 and 30.07 sign. Legal?

#4

Post by Gunguy21 »

Vol Texan wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:32 pm [quote=Gunguy21 post_id=<a href="tel:1255134">1255134</a> time=<a href="tel:1562244764">1562244764</a> user_id=23629]
Do they have offices other than those used by the courts? If so, they can’t ban the whole building, just the courtroom and court offices. However, courthouses are a prohibited location. They don’t have to post 30.06 or 30.07. It’s sill a class 3 felony for an individual with an LTC to carry at a courthouse, regardless of any signage. Please see Texas penal code 46.03, it expressly states having an LTC is not a defense to prosecution.


This is incorrect, and I recommend you re-read PC §46.03.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, location-restricted knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a) :
<snip>
(3)on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the court;
Please note that the word courthouse does not exist in PC §46.03. The term used is 'premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court'. Several 30.06 Ruling Letters (link) have been issued by the Attorney General regarding courthouses that completely ban legal carry, and he frequently references how the entire building should not be off limits. Only the offices necessary for the court should be posted.


Back to the OP's question:
[quote=azwe post_id=<a href="tel:1255126">1255126</a> time=<a href="tel:1562211770">1562211770</a> user_id=13490]
I'm getting very conflicting information on this but I was under the impression that state courthouses could not legally post 30.06 and 30.07 signs on their property. The Forney Sub-Courthouse has both posted on the outside of their door. Are they allowed to do that? If not, how do I get them to remove it?
[/quote]

The Texas Attorney General provides guidance on what you should do: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/30 ... -complaint. Best of luck to you in getting this successfully challenged!
[/quote]


Yes, that is correct. I guess if you wanted to go to a courthouse( read: not annex housing nonessential offices, such as DMV or taxing authority) and just wander the halls, you could do so. But that is why I asked OP about if it houses other offices. Based on the opinion from the AG, it seems like the courts can decide which offices of the court are considered necessary for the courts. See below:

https://www2.texasattorneygeneral.gov/o ... kp0047.pdf

it’s a quite a gray area, Which is why it’s much easier to challenge this if it houses things such as DMV. That is what happened in San Marcos. Or city hall in Austin, which only occasionally has court there. Regardless, it took well over a year to resolve and numerous lawyers, so if you want to challenge it, just be aware. And keep us updated!
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Re: City courthouse with 30.06 and 30.07 sign. Legal?

#5

Post by ELB »

While the Texas AG has written his official opinion that Texas governmental entities may not ban licensed carry in an entire building when only some of the rooms in the building are used by the courts, his opinion is not actually law. Several counties dispute his interpretation, and while he has sent "cure" letters to several of them warning that they could be subject to fines, he is holding enforcement in abeyance until a current court case is settled.

The AG sued the City of Austin over it's placement of signs and verbal admonitions by security personnel forbidding licensed carry in city hall. The city vigorously opposed him, of course. The case at the trial level was concluded several months ago, and....both sides got something they wanted and something they didn't.

The trial court judge ruled that the phrase "...on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court," means that it is the county's/court's choice as to whether they forbid licensed carry only in the actual court rooms or in the entire building. That's the part that Austin wanted and got. Naturally they will ban the entire building.

BUT: she also ruled that licensed carry could be forbidden in the entire building ONLY when court is in session, that the City of Austin had improperly forbid licensed carry on six (I think) occasions when court was not in session, and fined the City of Austin $9,000 for the violations.

Now, this is only at the trial court level, and I believe the decision is binding only for the City Hall, or at most, in Travis County. It is not a formal legal precedent for the rest of the state. I believe that if the City of Austin does not appeal the decision, that the Texas AG will, but that will take awhile (as in months and years). Once the appellate court reaches a decision, the I think we will have a ruling that applies to the entire state.

This means that effectively counties and county courts can forbid licensed carry within an entire building even if only a few rooms are used for the courts. The Texas AG can scold them and threaten them with lawsuits, but until we get an appellate decision the de facto rule is the county and courts can prevent you from licensed carry in the entire building.

However, I would go ahead and make a complaint, and if you are industrious, regularly visit the courthouse (with a friend would be better), ask if you may enter while carrying under license, and when they tell you no, document the entire event: time, date, witnesses, security staff names, and whether or not the court is in session. Why? Because the Austin judge would fine the City of Austin only for those instances when the AG could prove that a licensed carrier tried to enter the building and was refused entry while the court was NOT in session -- not for every day that the signs were up. The AG had only six instances that he could document that this happened, so instead of a $100,000 in fines the City faced only $9,000, which is not even crumbs to the City of Austin.
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Re: City courthouse with 30.06 and 30.07 sign. Legal?

#6

Post by ELB »

Russell wrote: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:26 pm
she also ruled that licensed carry could be forbidden in the entire building ONLY when court is in session
Where exactly does it say this in the actual statute? Is this judge just completely making things up?

Goodness gracious....
Recall the situation here -- she is ruling on a specific case, she is not making law for every possibility, she is just considering the facts presented to her about the City Hall in Austin. In this case, the City of Austin conducts court in that building only a few times per month. So having decided that the law says licensed carry can be prohibited throughout the building when there is a court or offices utilized by the court, she must address the question "When does City Hall qualify as a government court or offices?" (Her words.) Her answer is only when court is being conducted. The rest of the time the rooms are not being utilized by the court, so there is no prohibition on licensed carry.
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Re: City courthouse with 30.06 and 30.07 sign. Legal?

#7

Post by TexasTornado »

ELB wrote: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:14 pm
Russell wrote: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:26 pm
she also ruled that licensed carry could be forbidden in the entire building ONLY when court is in session
Where exactly does it say this in the actual statute? Is this judge just completely making things up?

Goodness gracious....
Recall the situation here -- she is ruling on a specific case, she is not making law for every possibility, she is just considering the facts presented to her about the City Hall in Austin. In this case, the City of Austin conducts court in that building only a few times per month. So having decided that the law says licensed carry can be prohibited throughout the building when there is a court or offices utilized by the court, she must address the question "When does City Hall qualify as a government court or offices?" (Her words.) Her answer is only when court is being conducted. The rest of the time the rooms are not being utilized by the court, so there is no prohibition on licensed carry.
Has there been any update on this?
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