MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR ON BEHALF OF SOUTH TEXAS JUSTICES OF THE PEACE & CONSTABLES ASSOCIATION!
* ALWAYS REMEBER TO RECRUIT NEW MEMBERS AND UPDATE YOUR MEMBERSHIPS IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE SO ALREADY. MEMBERSHIPS ARE GOOD THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2018 TO DECEMBER 31, 2018.
From the TJCTC in regards to Open Carry:
Dear Judges and Clerks:
As many of you are aware, Texas’ new “open carry” law took effect on January 1, 2016. The new law allows individuals who hold a handgun license (formerly known as a “concealed handgun license”) to openly carry a firearm in a belt holster or a shoulder holster.
Please be aware that the new law does not allow handgun license holders (or anyone else) to carry a firearm in your courtroom or in your court offices. Section 46.03 of the Penal Code prohibits an individual, other than an officer of the court, from possessing a weapon in these locations unless such possession has been approved in writing by the court.
Although it is clear that Texas law generally prohibits the possession of firearms in courtrooms, you should be aware that there is an ongoing debate over what constitutes a court office. Texas’ Attorney General recently released two opinions addressing this question, and links to those opinions are provided below. These opinions indicate that if your justice court shares a building with other county offices then it’s possible that the possession of firearms, including the open carrying of firearms, may be allowed in other portions of the building.
TJCTC will address the issue of open carry in greater detail in our upcoming Quarterly Report, which will be delivered to you later this month. We encourage you to communicate with your fellow justices of the peace and county officials regarding your county’s policies regarding the possession of firearms in county buildings.
The TJCTC Legal Department