PA Bill Number: SB293
Title: In actions, proceedings and other matters generally, providing for extreme risk protection orders.
Description: In actions, proceedings and other matters generally, providing for extreme risk protection orders. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: Feb 14, 2019
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District court rules Austin City Hall gun ban against the law :: 01/18/2019
Just hours after a Travis County district court ruled Austin could not ban guns inside City Hall, Michael Cargill walked into the building, handgun on waist.
A district court ruled Austin City Hall's gun ban is against Texas's open carry law. (CBS Austin)
He was able to do this after the court stated Austin's gun ban inside City Hall was in violation of Texas's open carry law. Now, the city has to pay $1,500 for each of the six violations, totaling $9,000.
Cargill was the person who complained the city was violating the open carry law, spurring the 2016 lawsuit Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed, culminating in Thursday's decision.
"We won. I'm very happy. I'm now in Austin City Hall, the first license holder to be able to carry a handgun in the building," Cargill said.
Paxton released the following statement:
The district court’s ruling preserves and protects the Second Amendment rights of Texans and sends a strong message to the city of Austin that they are bound by the same laws as all other Texans. The city of Austin cannot violate the open carry law or any other law the Texas Legislature has enacted simply because they disagree with it. If the city of Austin appeals the district court’s decision, my office will continue to strongly defend the right of law-abiding Texans to keep and bear arms in accordance with our handgun laws.
Cargill says he - in conjunction with Paxton's team - plans to make sure this ruling is enforced with dozens of other cities acting similarly to Austin.
"I feel great. This is a great victory for the Second Amendment community. This is a great victory for every citizen in the state of Texas," Cargill said.
The city argued it was exempt according to the law, because they have court proceedings, city council meetings, and educational events in City Hall. Court personnel also have offices here.
City officials are hoping they appeal this decision.
"I will continue to encourage our legal staff to pursue this ruling, to appeal the ruling, and to take a strong stance," said Kathie Tovo, the city council member representing District 9.
The City of Austin released the following statement:
We are disappointed because City Hall is a multifunctional building that is at times a court facility, a polling place, a location for educational activities and the location of City Council meetings, all of which meet the state legislature’s conditions for restricting the carrying of handguns.
Consistent with the Court’s order, we will continue to ban handguns from City Hall during those times when the legislature’s limitations allow, and we will be amending our communications to clarify when our handgun ban will be in effect.
Tovo says safety is her top priority, which is why she wants the city to appeal. "I think the public interest is best served prohibiting guns from public buildings, government buildings, and educational institutions," she said.
The city has not yet said if they will appeal the decision.