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Waller County Judge Okays Prohibiting Guns In Courthouse; Texas AG Disagrees

Guns will not be allowed in the Waller County courthouse… for now. A district judge has ruled that it is legal for local governments to prohibit guns and weapons in courthouse buildings.

The Waller County Courthouse building.
The Waller County Courthouse building.

The District Court ruling finds that it is legal to prohibit guns and weapons in courthouse buildings in Waller County. Elton Mathis,  District Attorney there, explains: “It doesn’t matter if there’s only one court in the building. There are no guns in that building regardless of what other offices are in that building.”

Under the state’s open carry law, a licensed gun owner sued Waller County saying that he should be allowed to bring weapons into a courthouse building or court office.

Mathis says, however, that this new opinion doesn’t have any binding on any other part of the state: “Unfortunately, the Attorney General decided to sue us in Austin. So we’re still going to have to deal with that lawsuit there to hopefully get some clarity for all the counties and cities across the state of Texas.” 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says in a statement that the Waller County court has not only made a mockery of legislative democracy by gutting the plain language of the statute, but also exposed Texans to retaliatory lawsuits. He predicts the Court of Appeals will reject the trial judge’s decision.

See the Court order here:

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