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If you're just now asking that question, you've missed the boat.
Keep an eye out for more from TDCAA on these opinions this afternoon.
In looking at the statutes--Government Code 411.209 is limited solely to signage pursuant to Penal Code 30.06 (i.e. that prohibits the carrying of a concealed weapon in a government building other than those set forth in Penal Code Sections 46.03 and 46.035).
If I'm reading this correctly--a governmental entity may absolutely post a sign pursuant Penal Code Section 30.07 (prohibiting open carry) without fear of any fine or injunctive action under Government Code 411.209. Obviously what you may lose is the ability to prosecute someone if the premises or place is not one specified in Texas Penal Code Sections 46.03 and 46.035.
Well, *we* think you're reading it correctly, but KP-0049 says you are not. And that's the rub. See today's case summaries and legislative update for more.
I am going to read these opinions once again next week after a Christmas break or a Happy Holiday break or whatever this break is currently called without getting into trouble. However, many years ago a wise fellow told me that every Attorney General thinks they would make a good Governor.
I just don't know why we're talking about legislative intent in the absence of any ambiguity in the statute (Gov't Code 411.209).
Legislative intent is used when the plain words are not of your liking. Or when the plain words are unclear.
I got several warning/prohibition signs from TAC today in the mail. I am thinking about posting them in random places. If Hale County gets sued, you did not read this here. This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jim Tirey,
If Hale County gets sued, Jim, I suspect it will not be alone.
Happy New Year, y'all!
"It seems like a huge assumption is being made that 46.03 limits its scope to a strictly "judicial" court."
I agree, that's the assumption in the Governor's memo and AG opinions. Our office decided that a Commissioners' Court is definitely a "government court" for multiple reasons.
- plain language of the text
- legal definition of "court"
- other uses of "court" in related statutes
- Commissioners' Court is presided over by a County Judge (and our County Judge is a magistrate and spends at least 40% of his county time performing judicial duties)
- Commissioners' Courts in Texas are courts of record
I'm sure I forgot something. It just seems ridiculous for them to assume/argue that the term "government court" suddenly excludes a Commissioners' Court when that part of the text didn't change.
Another, new, AG opinion request relating to this series:
Received: Thursday, February 11, 2016
Re: Whether a non-profit entity that has offices on land owned by a municipality may restrict the carrying of concealed handguns on the property
Requestor: The Honorable Lisa Pence
Erath County Attorney
Also, Art. V, sec. 1 of the Texas Constitution expressly names "commissioners courts" as places in which the judicial power of the state vests. I agree on your other points as well in favor of including commissioners courts under the phrase "government court," which is a curious phrase to begin with.
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