The individual being sued: Terry Holcomb, a Second Amendment activist working to force local Texas governments follow the law passed by the Texas legislature last year. The law limits where local governments can ban the carry of firearms by people with carry licenses. From khou.com:
Eleven months ago, he and Texas Carry members sent letters to 76 county governments threatening to get the Texas attorney general on their case for banning open carry in offices allowed by law.
Waller County district attorney hit back.
He claims the law’s courthouse gun ban covers his entire building, which includes several other offices considered fair game by open-carry activists, and this December opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
So, Waller County sued.
Off camera, the district attorney says it’s not about money.
It’s a plea for a judge to decide who’s right and who’s wrong.
He calls Holcomb’s claims “a bunch of dribble.”
It probably is not about money. The threatened judgement only uses money as a tool to suppress the activism that Elton Mathis and other Waller County officials dislike. The Waller County DA says the monetary damages were included as “boilerplate language.” From beaumontenterprise.com:
It’s a controversial issue, with strong feelings on both sides. That’s OK; in a democracy that will happen. What’s not OK is Waller County officials suing Holcomb to reinforce their belief that they have the right to ban guns from the entire courthouse building. The lawsuit seeks $100,000 in damages from Holcomb, but the Waller County DA says that was merely included as boilerplate language.
Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said Friday that Holcomb misunderstands the county’s intentions. Mathis said he’s simply seeking a ruling by a state judge that the county had the legal right to ban guns from the entire courthouse building.
The county’s suit seeks up to $100,000 in damages from Holcomb but Mathis said that was included as boilerplate language and he promised that the county would not pursue any monetary damages.
Is Mathis’ promise part of damage control, now that his heavy-handed tactics are being exposed, and his own money may be on the line.? (I’m not certain that the extensive immunity granted to prosecutors by the courts extends to filing lawsuits against private citizens.)
Texas Law Shield independent attorney, Edwin Walker, has taken up the defense against the suit:
“This lawsuit is an unconscionable act that is nothing more than government officials using the judicial system to harass and silence the people. If the courts, the attorney general, and ultimately perhaps the Texas Legislature, does not stop Waller County, it will be open season for local governments to intimidate LTC holders.”
Walker is working to get the case dismissed, make Waller County take down its sign, and even sanction the assistant district attorneys involved for this tactic. Are you glad to have attorneys like Edwin on your side?
Using government resources to sue citizens that complain about government actions, who threaten to use legal mechanisms to report government officials for oversight by higher level authorities, is a novel development indeed. And unwelcome.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch