The Houston Zoo used to have what’s known colloquially in Texas as the “30.06” signs, named after the section of the Texas code that describes how to post a ‘no guns allowed’ sign in compliance with the law. Persons who ignore such a sign do so at the risk of committing a Class A misdemeanor, which can involve an all-expenses-paid stay of up to one year, courtesy of the Texas penal system. After receiving a demand letter from Edwin Walker — an attorney and local gun rights activist — the Zoo is taking down its anti-gun signs. The Houston Chronicle has the story . . .

Houston Zoo officials have been forced to remove long-standing “no guns” signage from the city-owned property after a prominent gun rights attorney filed a complaint, marking the first visible local example of a new state law that targets government entities illegally restricting concealed carry.

Though the Houston Zoo is operated by a private entity, the Hermann Park land it sits on belongs to the city. Private business owners can restrict gun usage; on most government properties, however, licensed Texans are allowed to carry guns.

Now, under legislation that took effect Sept. 1, residents who believe governments are violating that law have a streamlined and strengthened means to file a complaint locally, with the option of appealing to the Texas attorney general. Local governments risk daily fines of up to $10,000, depending on the number of violations, if they fail to remove signage deemed illegal.

All credit to Houston attorney T. Edwin Walker with Texas Law Shield. Walker sent a letter to the City of Houston on Sept. 3, pointing out the signs were illegal and the City risked shelling-out serious shekels for their transgression. The signs came down eight days later. But not without grumbling. Zoo and city officials are “investigating the legal implications of the request.” They reckon the facility qualifies as an educational institution under state law, which would allows a gun ban. Meanwhile, this:

“We do recognize that this has the potential to confuse or concern our guests and members,” Wallace said. “And we want to emphasize that this will not alter our number-one priority, which is the safety of our guests, employees and animals.”

It’s good to see that Texas has enacted legislation that allows its residents to fight back against officious bureaucrats and municipal officials who seek to violation their civil rights for political purposes.

Houston Station KHOU quotes some zoo patrons’ reactions to the move:

“I hunt and everything, so I’m not going to hurt someone with a gun,” said John, a zoo patron. “If you feel more secure with a gun, carry a gun….”

“If you have the right to carry, you should be able to carry,” said Chrissy Richey, a zoo visitor. “That’s my opinion. Everyone should be safe. If you think carrying a gun makes you safe.”

Not all of the patrons were so favorably-inclined, of course:

“You just never know these days. I’d feel safer going somewhere where it’s restricted but what can you do,” said Felica Manuel, a zoo patron.

“I probably won’t be coming here anymore, but probably bad for them,” said Anna Runge, a zoo visitor.

Of course we don’t know the exact opinion of all Texans on the subject, though given that Texans voted for the legislature that passed this law, we can probably infer that a majority is okay with the carriage of guns at the zoo. One thing we are sure of: Hillary Clinton’s national favorability ratings continue to trail those of the NRA.

DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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47 Responses to Civil Rights Win: Houston Zoo Removes “No Guns” Signs

  1. “One thing we are sure of: Hillary Clinton’s national favorability ratings continue to trail those of the NRA.”

    To steal a line from SNL:

    Hillary’s poll numbers are “going down faster than Paris Hilton in the back of Limp Bizkit’s tour bus.”

    And that’s a convicted felon Martha Stewart ‘Good Thing’…

    🙂

        • It could happen. He might be among the terrorists who infiltrates the hordes of Syrian refugees that Obama lets in.

        • He would be better than Clinton or Trump and B. Sanders , WTF has happened to the collective cognitive mind ?
          Oh yes , it’s the collective .
          If you want to repeal ACA , executive rule , collectivism and socialism policies and restore constitutional supremacy , look only at Ted Cruz or Rand Paul . I favor Ted over Rand only because he is also a Christian and this is very strong stabilizer in holding any position of power , even head of household .

        • You favor Ted over Rand because Ted is a Christian? I was unaware that Rand wasn’t.

          In point of fact I think Trump is the only one of the R bunch, who isin’t (or at least isn’t evangelical).

        • I think it was Anonymous who hacked Assad’s itunes account and published his playlist. It’s hard to take a dictator seriously once you learn that he jams out to LMFAO’s “I’m sexy and I know it.”

        • StevenCO,
          I favor Ted because he is a true conservative constitutional expert and a I believe him to be Christian , I don’t know if Rand is a Christian or isn’t one and his views on the constitution seem to be good also but he is not on the same level as Ted in my opinion and his support for the nation of Israel worries me some . If Ted drops , Rand may be my # 2.

      • “It’s a good thing only if we believe socialist Bernie Sanders is less electable than Hillary would have been.”

        Something tells me Fauxahontas (Liz Warren) is going to make a go of it.

        She’s actually somewhat likable.

  2. So Anna Runge probably won’t go to the zoo anymore (or at least for a few weeks until she forgets about it), meanwhile, a lot of CHL holders will go to the zoo. Not to mention, the zoo isn’t removing the 30.06 sign and replacing it with a “Bring and wave your guns around!” sign.

    The only people who are going to care are the CHL holders and maybe the lone nut that now has to find a different target.

  3. I love how the committee of hand wringing busy bodies have to call an emergency meeting everytime they lose a little bit of power. “Wait, you mean we can’t treat grown ass people like children!? But this is a ZOO, man, and a zoo is practically a school, so an adult in a zoo is basically one of our children!” Yes, I bet they even call our children their children, when they are at the zoo, seperated from deadly wild animals by an inch of plexiglass in a place that has no guns.

    • “Wait, you mean we can’t treat grown ass people like children!?”

      A most excellent one-sentence summary of their worldview…

      Nicely done.

    • Most Epic Nailed ’em:

      “Wait, you mean we can’t treat grown ass people like children!? But this is a ZOO, man, and a zoo is practically a school, so an adult in a zoo is basically one of our children!” Yes, I bet they even call our children their children, when they are at the zoo…”

  4. When was the last time someone bent on killing people with a gun stopped to read the sign that said no guns and said, “oh dear, I must find a place where guns are allowed so I can kill people?”

  5. Dear stupid people please don’t have a ND. Buying a piano doesn’t make you a pianists, carrying a gun doesn’t make you a gun fighter. Learn your tool and don’t ruin this for everyone.

    • Gabriel,

      Of course no one wants a negligent discharge and everyone advocates great training.

      Having said that, please temper your concern with reality: literally millions of good people are armed in public every day and we might see, what, four negligent discharges per year in public in the entire United States? (I am referring to good people, NOT criminals and NOT law enforcement officers.)

      Look at it this way. Serious house fires are exceedingly rare, correct? Over our entire lifetimes we will probably hear about one person that we know (or is a friend of a friend) that had a serious house fire. Few if anyone, over their entire lifetimes, will ever hear that a friend (or even a friend of a friend) negligently discharged their firearm in public. Statistically speaking, it never happens.

    • That’s the same sort of “the sky is falling” idiocy heard from those who opposed concealed carry when the proposed legislation was argued in the Texas House and Senate two decades ago, but it never happened.

      • My daughter graduates from Rice University next fall and she has gone from a pro gun , shoot with me on the weekend , guns are fun and necessary , good old WV girl to a guns are bad and need to be banned zealot in 6 years in what I thought was a rugged pro 2nd A state and city my saturation in this liberal school . I am disappointed to say the least but it’s good to know some of the people in Texas still get it .

  6. I’ve carried st the Houston Zoo, because I know it’s legal, but I never noticed a 30.06 sign before.

    My local Harris County library had such a sign, though, illegally. I didn’t want to bother/frighten the elderly librarians with it. So I just emailed my County Commissioner with my concern.

    He gave me a call that morning and the sign was down by that afternoon. Everybody seemed pretty cool about it. The sign was probably jusy an oversight from when guns had been legally barred from libraries.

  7. I like the fact that my membership in Texas Law Shield is making a difference without me having to use it to get representation for a DGU.

    • Same here. Walker & Friends are pretty active. It’s not just a job for these guys. They’re for real.

      Check out their workshop schedule around the state and try to attend one, if you haven’t before. It’s a chance to meet the team, ask some questions and learn the latest in statutes and case history.

      • …provided you can stomach the used car salesman style. I finally decided (after a year of being a member) that I couldn’t deal with it any more.

      • If DC were a zoo then the dangerous animals would be in cages. Sadly the Schumerbeast and several other vicious creatures are still running loose. The Hildabeast has of course escaped DC, but latest reports indicate she has been wounded and while still dangerous is likely to be taken out in the first shot primaries.

  8. I don’t live in Texas anymore but a couple of years ago I saw a non-3006 no-guns sign on the doors to the Natural History Museum in Houston. Any Texans care to see if they are still up or if they replaced them with real 3006 signs? (I don’t live in Texas anymore)

  9. How telling, that the citizen safety promised by the zoo, is the same citizen safety promised by law enforcement, and the government. “We’ll be there to save you.” It’s all just a pleasant fiction.

    • “We’ll be there to save you.”

      Until the Gorilla gets out of the cage. Then, you’re on your own! LOL How many times have you heard of patrons attacked by zoo animals?? I’m not sure either, but I KNOW it DOES happen!! I for one would not want to be there, so I don’t go to the zoo. Until now that is.

  10. I have an uneasy feeling about people that “think” a gun makes them safe. Training and understanding the responsibility, among many other things, that goes with having a firearm can increase your chances of safety, and the safety of those around you. “Safety” with a firearm means being ready, able and trained to defend. I suppose that could be taken for granted. No one is safe from attack, in the home, vehicle, in public, but can be prepared to defend. (trained in this context does not mean Seal Team 6″. One more thing, can not be stressed enough, keep the firearm away from children. Whatever it takes.

    • While I share your concerns, you cannot make people act intelligently. All you can do is try to expunge ignorance when it presents itself (but beware that you won’t always be successful). Of the two groups of people (those that “think” having a gun keeps them safe and those that “think” that a sign and a total lack of guns makes them safe), I believe that that the latter is the more dangerous to myself and everyone else due to the endgame of their desires.

      The former will simply work to carry a gun (which might just be enough to ward off criminals with minimal training, emphasis on might). This presents a negligible threat to me as accidents due to incompetence are exceedingly rare (except for the police).

      The latter will work to make sure that no one can carry a gun anywhere which presents a much greater threat to me as I am now put at a serious disadvantage with regard to a criminal who doesn’t give a tinker’s damn what a sign or piece of paper says. Also, criminal events (which themselves are still very rare) are still more common than the aforementioned accidents.

      In short of the two “thinking” groups, only one is trying to tell me what to do (or not to do in this case).

  11. To bad HB 308 have not passed this year.
    It was the bigger bomb as open carry and campus carry together !

    HB 308 and HB 3884 4Knifes 2017 thats the bombs i would prefer before constitutional carry passed.

  12. I am a veteran and the best choice. The 2nd Amendment was put into the Constitution so the people could protect themselves from a corrupt government. That is why it says “shall not infringe” so we can have what the government has to prevent a Holocaust. I believe the people should have what the government has including machine guns. The only gun control law there should be is that criminals can’t have any firearms. Thanks for your vote, pass the word. mrpresident2016.com

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