Law Shield Successfully Demands Houston Zoo Take Down 30.06 Signs

Texas Law Shield Logo

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)

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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


    1. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. @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..

  6. I can hides my pistiol now when I get to eat the resturant when I am hungry because it is not safe and maybe a baby will get the gun and getten shot. I say ban all guns like that now because of that reason.

  7. I was at a CPS energy bill paying site in San Antonio last week and as I went in there was a “No Guns Allowed” sign on the door. It was not a 30.06 sign and had no law cited on it, Just a picture of a pistol and the words. Is this a legal sign? Would CPS energy be considered a “Govenment entity?

    1. In Texas there are two different signs that restrict a concealed handgun license holder from carrying into a place of business. They are a 30.06 sign, and a 51% sign.

      A 30.06 sign is a sign that a business owner can post to restrict a CHL holder from entering the business with a concealed handgun. The sign must contain the exact words required by Section 30.06 in both English and Spanish, be placed in an area visible to the public, and have 1″ lettering or it will not be considered a legally-binding 30.06 sign. “Gunbuster” signs, or signs with a red slash through a gun, are not considered valid 30.06 postings. 30.07 signage has similar requirements and is utilized to restrict a CHL holder from openly carrying their handgun into the business.

      A 51% sign is a sign that a business is required by law to post if 51% of their revenue is obtained through on-premises drinking, such as at a bar. Unfortunately this also has the consequence of not allowing CHL holders to enter the premises where the drinking is taking place while carrying their handgun.

      Additional places are not required to post a sign to forbid CHL holders from entering the premises with their handgun as Texas law already forbids it, such as court houses and educational institutions.

  8. The gun club that I am a member of requires all weapons to be unloaded until they are at the firing line and pointed towards the targets.
    Concealed carry weapons must stay concealed, unless actually needed for self defense.

  9. It amazes me that anyone would think of banning concealed carry.

    If it was truly “concealed carry” then would either have to frisk everyone entering or you would never know that there was a “concealed carry” around unless you needed them and they came to your aid.

    If you post “No Concealed Carry”, then you are saying, if a criminal pulls a gun on me, do not help me or I will have you charged with a crime!

  10. Hey I don’t feel like commenting too much on Texas tonight because I live in Arizona. But it looks like Texas has a good law that will help CCW holders.

    In AZ I can carry a gun in my pocket as long as I don’t have a criminal record. Just this week I replaced my Ruger .380 LCP with a S&W M&P Shield 9mm that holds more bullets (8+1) and has more power, and fits very easily into my pocket.

    However, my first trip to the shooting range showed that I won’t/can’t be taking any risky shots with the M&P Shield because I was having problems even at 15 yards. So if I see a random shooting taking place, I’m going to be wise (if this is the only gun I have available) and not insert myself into the fray unless my life or the lives of my family are seriously in jeopardy. If there is an exit route, I’m going to take it. The M&P Shield is a last resort weapon, and I don’t want to miss and hit an innocent person. No amount of practice will help my accuracy with this gun.

    1. ss1

      If that’s the case, then I recommend you get a different gun that you can actually hit your target with. I get what you’re saying about a random shooting and not getting involved, but what if you have no choice because you or your loved one is the target of the crime?

      The number one thing you need is well deserved and realistic confidence in your ability to put a shot on target. If you don’t feel confident with your gun after a realistic amount of training and practice, then it is not the right gun.

    2. @Mikial:

      The jury is still out on this gun. I was shooting at an 8 inch black/yellow sticky target. I need to go back and test with a human silhouette and analyze the results.

      The next step up in my gun collection is my compact Glock 10mm (model 29). If I can get used to my small-of-back holster, that’s a very reliable carry gun.

    3. @ss1
      I have to agree if i could not bet my life is safer than that with the pistol i have get a new gun ALL SHOOTINGS are random acts of violence for the victims the perp may plan it but you wont have a clue till the rounds start popping off what his plans were and escape may not be an option possibly you were better off with the .380 in that case at least you knew how it shot and how good the accuracy was it could be a last ditch pistol in an ankle holster maybe but i would only carry what i know without a doubt i have a clean shot i can make it with my carry gun and most times never just depend on 1 pistol as well as edged weapons i carry on my person . Comfort suffers a tad at times but i will not die begging or hiding from a guy with intent to kill us so you get used to carrying them and it becomes daily routine putting my pistols on is like putting on my socks once i walk out my door and i would feel very naked without feeling those pistols i know may save lives. Get into the routine of daily carry and get a pistol you can count on money well spent .It only takes 1 time to die or 1 time to live carrying a sub par gun if you feel it is sub par is a risk i will not take. Good pistols ,good leather ,good holsters , good ammo all matter junk is junk end of it.

    4. ss1. Agree with Mikial. Get a weapon with which you can actually use. You never know when you will be forced to use your weapon, whether you want to or not. Sell the thing, get a weapon you can control. The world is over ran with small, pocket sized autos and revolvers. Though, my 1911-A-1 isn’t exactly pocket-size, I slip it into my pocket even if I’m taking out the garbage and that is only about a 15 yd. walk. Why? Because, JUST IN CASE.

    5. The M&P is a reasonably accurate, reliable pistol. Let someone else shoot it and see if they get the same results and if they do send it back to S&W. Heck my 1927 Nagant revolver makes decent center of mass shots and this gun is notorious for being inaccurate.

    6. Bob, are you using the original ‘gas seal’ ammo with your Nagant, or replacement .32 ammo. Gas seal was notoriously bad, not the revolver. Inaccurate loading, poor quality control, contributed to this. Aftermarket, replacement .32 hasn’t had this problem, at least not that I’ve heard of.

    7. I have two Shields, one with a laser and one without. I am retired police officer and many others carry this firearm. If it is not accurate and it is not your lack of ability (and I am not saying it is) send it back to S&W. Try shooting it from a bench to make sure you can judge it’s accuracy. If it kicks too much and that is the problem for you then switch firearms. Perhaps a S&W MP Compact would suit your needs. I have a 9 and a 40 and the 9 is much more manageable. Good Luck, Dan

    8. this is a common problem you describe with the mp shield.
      the fix is your technique holding the weapon. they call this condition limp wrist and is easily fixed with some practice and proper technique.

      hope this helps.

    9. @Everyone who replied on my MP Shield 9 issue:

      WOW lot’s of GOOD IDEAS, and some I will actually try, like bench rest shooting and letting another person shoot it. I will get to the bottom of this and either decide if I should sell it, or at least know my effective range, just like I do with my other pistols.

      Here’s what I know now:

      * 1 trip to the range on a very rushed day when I wasn’t feeling that well anyway, and when I was testing another gun too, is not enough to make any determination. I must go back.

      * I feel that the MP Shield 9 was shooting better than my Ruger .380 LCP has in the past, because it has a longer sight radius. But I was using too small of a target to be able to see where some shots were drifting. I was hitting the 8 inch target 35% to 50% of the time, so I feel there is hope in practicing more.

      * I don’t think it’s a limp wrist or flinching issue since I normally shoot 10mm, 44 magnum and 50AE.

      * But I think I may have a problem/flaw with pulling to the lower left, which also happens on my 2 Glock 10mm’s. With a tiny pistol like the MP Shield 9, this flaw can be more pronounced. So after establishing where the pattern is going, I must practice and improve, because I actually really like the feel of the MP Shield 9 in my hands, I like how easy the mags snap in, how easy it is to load the chamber, and the safety is perfect too.


      @Damian (my Desert Eagle friend):

      Hey the 44 magnum barrel test got delayed because the 6 ProMag magazines I ordered were not re-loading. I have now ordered 2 MRI magazines so I can test with those and decide if the DE needs an adjustment at MRI or if the ProMags need to be returned.

      I could tell that the DE was obviously shooting smoothly in 44 magnum, but I was very frustrated that day because of the re-loading problems, so I didn’t get to really have fun and do accuracy testing with the 44.

  11. Hey Mikial-I think Texas and parts of the South such as SC and NC-I am partial, are all thats left of the America we grew up in. Its good having you out there with us!-Steve

    1. Amen, Brother.

      I live in Virginia and would love to move deeper. God bless America, and God bless, Robert E Lee!

  12. That’s what “concealed” means. if you’re doing it right, no one will know anyway.

    But Texas has some odd gun laws for a state that touts itself as the state of free spirits. It took us a few tries while we had that scumbag Kaine for a governor, but once he was gone to the US Senate to try to screw us over at a national level, we were able to get the law against carrying in an establishment that serves alcohol repealed.

  13. It all means NOTHING if you can not hit your target.Its not practice makes perfect-Its Perfect practice makes Perfect…….V.Lombardi

    1. If we are legally armed and the weapon is fully concealed as a smart person would want it to be anyhow they should never tell us we ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND OTHERS from some moron ,doped up addict ,or terrorists type person or persons to shoot at will completely helpless to defend ourselves. If they want a gun free zone then security that is armed should be on or in the premises at all times so we know we are safe .Personally between us and the fly on the wall i do not see those no guns allowed signs it was not in my vision sir is my word and i am keeping it that way unless some idiot starts popping off rounds no one will ever know i did not leave my weapon outside to go in period.But if they do they will get the shock of the very short to be lives when an armed legally citizen takes him out before he kills others i carry theCCW badge around my neck just for an active shooter i will not yell police get down but i will let the badge be visible and say get out of my way and go towards the gun fire and that will be that if i get killed saving other lives i am fine with that especially there are children around why i train,train ,train with my carry guns and keep them in working condition at all times they are never unloaded and no one ever knows i am carrying multiple handguns every day as i go about my life but i will not be a victim of being helpless in any place but a government building, or any other place i go my weapons go with me .

    2. I totally agree
      I have no children
      Use my body as a shield
      stop random shooters
      consider how many CWH are in the community
      we out number all others that can stop ongoing killers

    3. Have you ever thought about whether that CCW Badge will ever get you in trouble for impersonating a Cop? Carrying concealed is one thing and I am not saying that you don’t try to save lives. We all would attempt that i we were in that situation. But the badge does nothing for you except for someone to say that you said you were a cop when maybe you never said a thing except for everyone to get down or out. Just a thought that may save you even further headaches.

  14. Liberal/Commies/DemoRats/NWO will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want…These site had been breaking the Law for over 12 years! It’s good they put some teeth behind the Law and now they need to start fining these Anti-American POS’s…!!!

    1. And this is the real irony behind the Liberal mindset. They believe they are smarter than everyone and know best what everyone needs, so they will justify ANY action to gain the control they believe is their inborn right as a Liberal. Seems like a bit of a contradiction for someone who claims to be such a do-gooder to be a lying, backstabbing cheat but that’s the way it is.

      It’s all about control.

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