Licensed gun owners can bring guns into Texas churches that do not have posted signs prohibiting them, according to an opinion Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released Thursday.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had asked Paxton for a clarification of the law this month in the wake of November’s mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. State law says handguns aren’t allowed on church premises, but Paxton said in his opinion that churches, just like private businesses, must provide notice prohibiting guns. Those that don’t post such a notice, he said, allow guns.
“If a church decides to exclude the concealed or open carrying of handguns on the premises of church property, it may provide the requisite notice, thereby making it an offense for a license holder to carry a handgun on those premises,” Paxton said in a news release. “However, churches may instead decide not to provide notice and to allow the carrying of handguns on their premises.”
Paxton also said churches are exempted from state fees that are charged to businesses for creating volunteer security teams.
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