No matter if it’s a coffee order, rules for charades or an understanding of current law — clarification is always best.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says an explanation is needed for whether it is legal to bring handguns into places of worship. He requested that Attorney General Ken Paxton issue an opinion informing Texans if they can carry handguns in churches and about a private security fee exemption for churches. He wanted the clarification following the Sutherland Springs mass shooting now while he continues “to support initiatives to clarify the law and protect gun rights” next legislative session.
The state Penal Code says carrying a handgun in a place of worship is “an offense” but also says, in a different subsection, that the offense doesn’t apply if a gun license holder is not given an effective notice.
That effective notice is supposed to be the unsightly and effective “no handguns on premises” sign affixed near an entry or written communication handed out to members upon any entrance.
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It’s confusing to say “Yes, as long as there isn’t written communication saying otherwise.” Though the clunky wording and jumping from subsection to subsection doesn’t help matters from a codification standpoint.
Regardless of how you feel about handguns being allowed in places of worship, a clarification from Paxton on the legality of the issue is needed.
We’ve got to have a clear understanding of where we can and cannot bring our handguns.