Man Bites Dog Story: Texas County Sues Gun-Rights Activist Over Gun Ban

Texas County Sues Gun Rights Activist Over Courthouse Gun Ban
photo from houstonpress.comweb photo

On man in Texas doesn’t think people should have to disarm themselves when going into the Waller County courthouse building if they aren’t going to court, and filed a complaint with county officials.

In a somewhat strange turn, Waller County decided to make Terry Holcomb go away by suing him. The county is asking a judge for a declaratory ruling to affirm their position and also for damages up to $100,000, according to this story from houstonpress.com.

“In a statement, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said he wasn't going to honor Texas Carry's request to open up the courthouse building to guns 'just to pander to a small group of citizens who do not even reside in Waller County and who don’t want to understand that even the 2nd Amendment has limitations.’

“Holcomb's complaint to Waller County is part of a new law that allows Second Amendment-loving Texans to complain about gun bans they don't like. Holcomb, who resides in San Jacinto County, has filed 76 such complaints across the state; he has been successful in convincing government officials to amend their gun-ban signage 26 times. If they don't comply with Texas Carry's wishes, then Holcomb complains to the Texas Attorney General's Office — the second prong of this new law. The AG's office has the authority to determine whether the gun ban is in compliance with the law, and if it doesn't think so, then the office can file suit.”

Waller County seems to be taking it one step further.

"It's intentionally heavy-handed," Holcomb said of the county's lawsuit in the story. "They're gonna use the power of their office to try to use force and try to teach us a lesson. But they probably should've done their homework a little bit more before they did that, because our complaint was within the law, and governments like this just show that they don't care about the law."

Holcomb is the executive director of the gun rights group Texas Carry, [the story says](/Texas County Sues Gun Rights Activist Over Courthouse Gun Ban).

It seems the state Attorney General Ken Paxton is on Holcomb’s side, saying the law allowing government officials to prohibit guns in courthouses only applies to actual courtrooms and court offices, not the rest of a building that may house those offices or a courtroom.

"Can you imagine the carnage if (guns) were permitted inside…inside the building where murders are sentenced, where couples divorce, and where children are removed from their parents for their own protection?" Mathis said in the story.

Holcomb responded by saying he understands concerns about emotions running high in courthouses, but that doesn’t give the government the right to tell him where he can and can’t protect himself.

"It's an emotional position that I think has good intent — it's just misplaced," Holcomb said in the story. "Heightened emotions are in every area of our life. You can't get away from those heightened emotions no matter where you go. Law-abiding citizens are going to be law-abiding citizens even with heightened emotions. Criminals are going to be criminals regardless of the situation."