Victory in City Hall Court Case!

Jan 17, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas - A Travis County judge has ruled that the City of Austin violated state license to carry a handgun laws when it blocked Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works, from entering City Hall on multiple days in 2016 while lawfully exercising his firearms rights.

Attorney General Ken Paxton's office sued the City after Mr. Cargill filed a complaint with the AG's office saying he had been denied entry to City Hall on several occasions. The City had argued it should be allowed to ban guns from the building because it “maintains office space for court personnel.”

Judge Lora Livingston of the 261st Civil District Court fined the city $1,500 for each of six instances in which license holders were denied entry to City Hall. The total fine was $9,000. Judge Livingston cited a provision of Texas law that bans any state agency or political subdivision of the state from prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns in government buildings with a few exceptions, including at open government meetings or in government courts.

“This is a huge win, not only for citizens of Austin. This is a big win for the entire State of Texas,” said Mr. Cargill. “We’re going to visit every and any county and municipality," he said after the ruling, "and we’re going to file a complaint with the AG’s office" if they deny him entry while lawfully exercising his firearms rights.

“The City of Austin cannot violate the open carry law or any other law the Texas Legislature has enacted simply because they disagree with it,” Mr. Paxton said in a statement after the ruling.

In a statement, the City said it is disappointed with the ruling, "because City Hall is a multifunctional building that is at times a court facility, a polling place, a location for educational activities and the location of City Council meetings, all of which meet the state legislature’s conditions for restricting the carrying of handguns."

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