A Travis County District Court judge agreed with the lawsuit filed against Austin City Hall contending that officials were in breach of laws protecting 2nd Amendment rights.
Paxton’s office was notified of the issue by Michael Cargill, a Texas state Concealed Handgun License instructor and owner of a local gun store.
In 2015, Cargill had gone to City Hall, but was turned away because of his pistol. When he asked why, security guards referred him to the posted 30.06 sign, which bans the carrying of a firearm on the premises of City Hall.
Knowing the law says otherwise, Cargill felt something should be done. He then notified Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, who agreed with Cargill and launched an investigation.
The resulting lawsuit, filed by Paxton, argued that City Hall officials were not following state laws allowing the carry of firearms on public property.
City Hall defended its claim by saying the building sometimes holds Community and Teen court.
Paxton’s lawsuit however, rebutted this argument, saying that the ban should only be in place when court was being held. Not all the time.
Cargill’s attorney Edwin Walker, agreed. He told FOX7.
“That means that basically a government could designate a room way off in the corner of the building as a court and then say, ‘ah ha, we have a court therefore our entire building is off-limits,’”
On Thursday of last week, January 10th, a Travis County District Court judge agreed. The judge fined Austin City Hall a total of $9,000. $1,500 for the six times Paxton’s investigators were illegally turned away by City Hall security.
During an interview with Fox7, Cargill was all smiles.
“We won. I feel great. This is a great victory for the Second Amendment community, this is a great victory for every citizen in the great state of Texas.” he said.
“This means that every city every municipality needs to follow the law when it comes to license holders being able to carry a handgun inside their buildings.”
A statement released by the city of Austin about the ruling said:
“We are disappointed because city hall is a multi-functional 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.
The statement goes on to say:
“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.”
Although clearly disagreeing, City Hall reacted promptly to the decision. When Cargill went down to public building, he was allowed through without complaint.
“I’m actually very surprised that within hours after the judge handed down that ruling the City of Austin was actually complying.” said Cargill.
Attorney General Paxton said this about the court’s decision:
“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,” said Attorney General Paxton,
“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.”
Read here for a list of businesses that do not support the Second Amendment.
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