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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Texas Governor: City Halls Can’t Ban Guns

Two months after a new Texas law barred authorities from prohibiting concealed carry on most government property, Governor Greg Abbott—who formerly served as attorney general—advised his successor that authorities cannot “completely bar (concealed-carry licensees) entry to a governmental building unless the entire building is” off-limits under the law.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hasn’t issued a formal interpretation of the law yet. In the meantime, local officials interpret the law differently. Although San Antonio allows firearms in City Hall, Austin bars concealed-carry anywhere in City Hall because the building hosts court proceedings, where carry is prohibited.

Governor Abbott attempted to clarify the law in his memo to Paxton, writing, “When the ‘court’ is located inside a multi-purpose government building, however, Texas law allows a state agency or political subdivision to ban handgun licensees from only the portion of the building that qualifies as ‘premises’ of the ‘court.’”