Judge keeps guns out of Waller County courthouse

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HEMPSTEAD, Texas (AP) - A judge has upheld Waller County's ban on guns in their courthouse.

Judge Albert McCaig, Jr. of the 506th District Court believes the county is justified in stopping people from carrying firearms in the building.

Gun carrying advocates have filed complaints including in Brazos County after new open carry and concealed carry laws went into effect.

Brazos County Judge Duane Peters says they received a letter from the attorney general's office earlier this month saying they were in compliance.

"We felt like we were in compliance with the law, certainly Waller County felt like they were in compliance with the law and I was very happy to see that the district judge found that that's the way it was that the premise does include the whole building and that that district judge decided that they were in compliance with the law," said Judge Duane Peters of Brazos County.

Signs banning guns in the courthouse remain in place in Bryan.

(Associated Press Story)

A judge's ruling that upholds Waller County's ban on guns in its courthouse is keeping the Southeast Texas county at odds with the state attorney general.

The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/2gKsnis ) state District Judge Albert McCaig Jr. ruled this week in a lawsuit by a gun rights supporter who wanted county officials to remove signs that warn visitors to the courthouse in Hempstead that firearms are banned.

A state law that took effect last year says government entities can be penalized for posting unlawful signs banning firearms.

Attorney General Ken Paxton has ruled state law bars firearms from a courtroom or offices "essential" to that court. McCaig has decided that means "an entire government building that houses a court."

Paxton says McCaig's ruling makes "a mockery of legislative democracy."


Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com