After county officials decided to ban licensed handgun owners from carrying firearms in a multi-purpose courthouse, local activists pushed back hoping to force them to change course.

The Liberty County GOP executive committee passed a resolution calling for their County Commissioners to “conform to Texas State Law regarding licensed legal citizens’ rights to carry handguns in public areas of the courthouse.”

Licensed carriers are allowed to carry in administrative buildings, but not courtrooms. So, the Liberty County Commissioners Court deemed the entire courthouse building a “judicial center” and banned firearms despite it housing both courtrooms and administrative offices.

“Liberty County Commissioners’ Court approved a new security plan for the courthouse that will close all of the courthouse entrances to the public… to further prevent legal licensed handgun owners from carrying in any part of the multi-purpose building,” reads the resolution.

Waller County faced a similar issue back in 2016

Terry Holcomb, a pastor and activist, filed a complaint after the county prohibited citizens from carrying in the county administrative building. Similar to Liberty County, Waller’s building held both courtrooms and administrative offices and they contended that allowed them to prohibit citizens from carrying firearms inside.

Activists in Liberty County are hoping it doesn’t resort to formal complaints or legal action and their commissioners will willingly change course and allow carrying firearms in the administrative part of the building.

After the resolution was passed, the Republican Liberty Caucus of Congressional District 36 published an article saying, in part, “while the local party strongly supports courthouse security, it does not condone the commissioners challenging current law and State AG opinion while eroding liberties of LTC individuals.”

The resolution will now be sent to all County Commissioners and the County Judge.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.

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