Law Shield Successfully Demands Houston Zoo Take Down 30.06 Signs

By Woody published on in News

Earlier this month, a lawyer affiliated with Texas Law Shield, a firearms legal services firm that contributes material to the Shooter’s Log, sent a demand letter to a number of organizations affiliated with the Houston Zoo—the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, the Houston Zoo Development Corp., and the Houston Zoo itself—asking them to remove an illegal 30.06 sign posted at the Zoo’s main entrance.

Written by Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Edwin Walker, the letter said the improperly-posted Houston Zoo sign did not comply with the new Texas Government Code § 411.209 and was illegally posted on city-owned property for over ten years, leading CHL holders to believe they couldn’t carry on the property, when in fact, it was completely legal.

Walker wrote in the letter, “Texas Penal Code §30.06(e) renders 30.06 signs posted on property owned or leased by a governmental entity invalid. However, the problem with this is that for years there has been no penalty for posting an invalid sign. This allowed many governmental entities (including the Houston Zoo) to illegally post 30.06 signs, supposedly providing notice that concealed carry on the property was prohibited, despite the fact that the signs were not legally effective, and the government could not legally prohibit concealed carry on the premises.

“Thankfully, the recent legislative session added Texas Government Code § 411.209, which contains a penalty for any state agency or political subdivision of the state (such as a city) that wrongfully attempts to exclude a concealed handgun license holder from premises or property owned or leased by a governmental entity. This new law became effective September 1, 2015.”

The first day the law went into effect, Walker immediately sent written notice to the Houston Zoo and its affiliated agencies to inform them that the sign posted at the main zoo entrance was improper, and that the city should remove it or it would face the penalties specified in the new law.

After reviewing Walker’s complaint, the City instructed the Houston Zoo to remove the 30.06 sign, allowing CHL holders to now carry their concealed handguns into the zoo without being unjustly intimidated and fearful that they are breaking the law.

In Texas, a 30.06 sign can be used by a business owner to prohibit a CHL holder from bringing a firearm into business. The signs refer to Texas Penal Code 30.06, which forbids CHL holders from bringing firearms into locales with 30.06 signs in plain sight at the entrance or a “conspicuous manner clearly visible to the public.”

Though the zoo is privately owned, it sits on property owned by the City of Houston. Accordingly, it is not a place where firearms or concealed handguns may be prohibited under Texas Penal Code §46.03 or §46.035.

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.

“I think the city of Houston should apologize to CHL holders for violating their rights for the past dozen years,” Walker told KTRK-TV in Houston.

Walker believes there are other public buildings, possibly including courthouses and police stations, that may also be in violation. He says there are a million concealed-handgun license holders in Texas.

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Comments (38)

  • Ray

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    Can anyone in the South tell me what an automotive service managers average salary is down there??? I would love to relocate my family from this ridiculous state we live in now (NJ) to a state that believes in its citizens being able to protect themselves EVERYWHERE!!!! Case in point…ever been to Camden, Irvington, Bridgeton or Plainfield??? Trust me, you don’t want to go unarmed. Oh yeah…DONT VOTE FOR CHRIS CHRISTIE—HE IS A DOPE.

    Reply

    • rowland neil

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      about 85000 i am retired now but was in the fleet management sector 35 years

      Reply

    • Michael

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      In Louisiana it ranges from $60K to $120K, depending on the size of the dealership. In Texas, $70K to $150K+. The big cities are where the money is.

      Reply

  • Charles Austin

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    How long does it take for a law abiding citizen to get the respect and due he is allowed before he can relax with his weapon on his side or in a hidden spot on his person? I have carried 90% of my life. I have had many opertunaties to pull and use it. To explain a little,I can say something at this time.A trained gun or gunman has and must have a trained mind also. Don’t let fear, surprise or anger control your gun or reactions take over your actions. Trained means eyes, mind, reactions,reflectionsand general knowledge of your weapon.There are certain times to pull your weapon and times for extreme caution. Teach yourself and live by it. Safety and caution are top priority at all times. I have worked in crowds,,darkness and places impossible to know the good guy from the bad. You must train yourself and never rush .If you must be in a hurry, then be at your best with your eyes and mind at full alert.
    Please let me know what info you might have for the state of Ms.I have a cancel carry permit and can also carry in view on my hip. SEND ME WHAT YOU HAVE FOR MY CERCUMSTANCE.
    .Thanks . Waiting for what you can help me with .Charlie Austin

    Tu

    Reply

    • William Ciro Cuozzo

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      I agree %100. Carrying a firearm is a big responsibility. A person does not become stronger or bigger just because he/she now carries a firearm. There will be time’s when you would love to reply with anger because of someone saying or doing something to you, but it’s those times when you just have to walk away.

      Reply

  • Pablo III%

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    Are the businesses liable for the safety of the customers? I think they should be, if the signage is up in plain sight. If an incident occurs, they MUST be sued to the full extent of the law for not taking proper precautions. Then the signage will disappear, and we can rely on some obscure “Good Samaritan” law

    Reply

  • Kivaari

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    I have to admit I have always ignored such signage. But, I have never lived in states with such Draconian laws. I moved from Washington state quite eagerly since they would not allow me to have certain guns I happened to like. Just next door is Idaho, that doesn’t step on our individual and collective rights like Washington, Oregon and California.

    Reply

    • Martin

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      So, I am curious. What firearms did Washington State prohibit you from owning? I have been a LEO in Washington and Oregon and neither state has restrictions such as you imply that I am aware of.

      We don’t register guns in Washington and open carry is the law of the land. Washington is a Shall Issue State for CPL. We don’t have magazine or round restrictions as California does, and the few places you can’t carry are Courts, Police Departments unless you are a LEO), Schools and Bars while drinking. I hardly think the state firearms laws are draconian in terms of ownership. The only restrictions I can think of deal with fully automatic and that is a Federal Tax Stamp issue and not a State issue. Not trying to create an argument, just can’t imagine how you came to the conclusion that your firearms are restricted in Washington State. I truly would like to hear what I may have missed. I am a LEO that absolutely supports citizen carry. Most LEOs I know are of the same mind.

      Reply

    • Pablo III%

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      that is why the 3 states are called appropriately the”Left Coast”

      Reply

  • John

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    I just must comment on this article. I live In Illinois. Businesses must post a 4×6 sign meeting certian criteria to officially ban guns on their property. However I have seen improper sinage at certain malls and food chains.

    I have learned that these malls and food chains do not put up the proper signage for multiple reasons:

    1. A company that properly bans guns from their premisis becomes legally liable for their patrons safety while on their premisis. However if the patron was allowed to carry on the companys property, the business would be protected from the same liabliity. So if it looks like guns are banned, but the sinage is improper, some people will think the gun ban is enforcable and will not carry at the business,

    2. certain businesses intend the sign only for employees and salesmen visiting the business with the intent to sell to the business.

    but the company does not think it will be liable, they are mistaken. (I actually think that if the matter came to court, the business would be liable because they made the patron believe the ban is in effect).

    I was in fact told, by a lawyer of CCWSafe, if I went to a business with improper sinage, and it became known I carried on their premisis and they asked me to leave, I should leave or lock the gun in my car before going back in. However, if there were an incident and they decided to procecute me for illegal trespass, CCWSafe would defend my rights.

    Also, according to the lawyer, it is our duty as gun owners and CCL/CHL holders to determine if we should in-fact carry at a particular loction. For that reason, I believe that all sinage that is intentionally misleading should be punishable by heavy fines.

    Reply

    • Mikial

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      @John

      Excellent reasoning, and I agree with you.

      It is typical of most anti-2nd Amendment thinking to mislead and often just outright lie. I’ve found another trait is to want to have the best both worlds. In other words, they want to be able to deny us our rights, but at the same time avoid responsibility for their action as per your point about avoiding liability

      Based on my understanding of Illinois’ anti-2nd Amendment attitude, I’m actually a little surprised they have a law like the liability for the patron’s safety..

      Reply

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