30.06 Ruling Letters

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crazy2medic
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby crazy2medic » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:06 am

Flightmare wrote:http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/judge-makes-ruling-in-fight-over-guns-at-austin-city-hall

The city claims that guns aren't allowed at City Hall because community court and teen court are held there on occassion. The judge agreed with the city that the gun ban should include the entire building not just the part where court is held.

“That means that basically a government could designate a room way off in the corner of the building as a court and then say 'ah ha we have a court therefore our entire building is off-limits,’” he said

But the judge agreed with some other arguments the Attorney General made -- for example the ban should only be in effect on the days court is held.

So does that mean the posted signs need to be removed and temporary sign go up on the days the "courts" are in session? Can the AG appeal this to a higher court?
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby ELB » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:33 am

crazy2medic wrote:
Flightmare wrote:http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/judge-makes-ruling-in-fight-over-guns-at-austin-city-hall

The city claims that guns aren't allowed at City Hall because community court and teen court are held there on occassion. The judge agreed with the city that the gun ban should include the entire building not just the part where court is held.

“That means that basically a government could designate a room way off in the corner of the building as a court and then say 'ah ha we have a court therefore our entire building is off-limits,’” he said

But the judge agreed with some other arguments the Attorney General made -- for example the ban should only be in effect on the days court is held.

So does that mean the posted signs need to be removed and temporary sign go up on the days the "courts" are in session? Can the AG appeal this to a higher court?


Dagnabbit, I have been watching for this everyday and Flightmare scooped me. :totap:

Anyway, I am a bit confused as to what the judge actually did, because of this paragraph in the article:

“Walker and Cargill say the next step is trial.


So did the judge rule only on motions? Then why such specific order, i.e. "yes you can ban guns in the whole building but only days court is in session?" And it wasn't the judge I thought it would be.

Of to google and research.

In any case, I didn't expect any Travis County judge to rule in favor of the AG's interpretation, and actually am surprised/pleased that she put in the "only on days court is in session" part. To get any fully pro-2A decision was going to require the case to be appealed up and out of Travis County to the state level.
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Scott Farkus
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby Scott Farkus » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:22 pm

I'm confused. Can somebody clarify where we are on this and what exactly is the status of the lawsuit against the COA? This judge ruled that having a "courtroom", even if set up in the corner of a broom closet, allows the entire building to be posted but only when court is in session? And now it goes to a jury trial?

Very disappointed this wasn't addressed by the Legislature this past session. This nonsense where cities get to flout what is clearly the intent of the law needs to end yesterday.

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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby ELB » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:33 pm

Scott Farkus wrote:I'm confused. Can somebody clarify where we are on this and what exactly is the status of the lawsuit against the COA? This judge ruled that having a "courtroom", even if set up in the corner of a broom closet, allows the entire building to be posted but only when court is in session? And now it goes to a jury trial?

Very disappointed this wasn't addressed by the Legislature this past session. This nonsense where cities get to flout what is clearly the intent of the law needs to end yesterday.


I think we will have to see the actual order. She (the judge) apparently wrote it on 22 Dec, and it was mailed to the AG and City of Austin on 27 Dec. The court does not post documents online for free perusal, you have to order them from the clerk and it is not free or terribly fast. Maybe on of the newspapers will publish it,
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby ELB » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:18 pm

Well, something happened in the Austin City Hall case yesterday, but I don't know what it was. The online case info shows that some kind of order was issued, presumably by the judge, but the case documents are not online. I have googled the dickens out of the internet and can find nothing about this case since the Flightmare posted that article about the Dec 22 judgment except a Brightbart article that has Cargill (incorrectly) speculating about how big Austin's fine is going to be, but doesn't actually have any news about the case itself.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby TreyHouston » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:00 pm

We have plenty of people here that could chime in if they see fit. If nothing is released publicly yet, they may not want to say...
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby ELB » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:59 pm

I have found a copy of the judge's rulings of 27 Dec 2017. https://www.tml.org/p/Ltr%20%20-%20Paxt ... Gn-16-3340).pdf

Note that these rulings are on motions for summary judgments from both the Office of Attorney General and the City of Austin. Each side asked the judge to immediately rule in its favor on all points, dispensing with a trial. Instead, the judge ruled that the OAG won some, the City won some, and the rest will have to be sorted out at trial.

My first pass summary/restatement of interesting (to me anyway) points follows. This is not necessarily a complete summary. Note that this order rests on some very specific words and phrases in the law. Also, it is focused on the specific facts of the case, on the actual signs and oral statements, not on signs and oral communications in general.

Reading the whole thing is interesting, because it describes some of the investigatory steps the OAG took. For instance, two of their investigators, who have LTCs, went to the City Hall building and tried to enter with their handguns. They did not identify themselves as peace officers, only as LTC holders.

Signs:

A gunbuster sign (gun inside a slashed circle) by itself, posted by a government entity, does not constitute a violation of GC 411.209(a) (the para that prohibits governments from giving notice by communication described by PC Section 30.06). Such a sign does not meet the notice requirements of 30.06 as does not refer to concealed handgun licenses nor include references to 30.06. A sign is not an oral communication, it is a written communication, and therefore it needs to include the text specified by 30.06 to be a notice forbidden by GC411.209(a). The gunbuster etched on the door of Austin City Hall does not include this language, therefore it is not be a "notice by a communication described by Section 30.06, Penal Code." GC 411.209(a) also forbids a sign referring to concealed handguns, but the gunbuster sign does not do that either. Therefore the city did not violate the law by posting this sign.


Oral Notice:

The short answer is that whether the City of Austin violated the law via the oral communications of their security officers to a license holder has not yet been conclusively established either way by what's on record so far. So it appears this will be a question at trial. It appears the question will be something along the lines of "at what point does an oral statement give rise to notice and criminal liability for the license holder". Oral communication is not defined in 30.06 (nor 411.209) like written communications are.

Best to go read the order to see the judge's discussion on this, it's hard (for me) to summarize, and I am getting tired of typing anyway.

But think of this question: If a sign, to be enforceable against a LTC holder, must reference 30.06 and specific text requirements, then should an oral communication, to be enforceable against a LTC holder, have a similar requirement? Regular "no guns" signs have no criminal liability for a LTC holder. Should spoken "no guns" communications" have criminal liability?

Go read the judge's discussion.

Courts, premise, or portions thereof.

Weapons are forbidden "on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court," and premises means "a building or portion of a building." The judge ruled that the "or" in the definition of premises gives the government the choice of whether it will ban LTC holders from carrying only in the court areas ("portion") or from carrying in the whole building.

However: ONLY, in the case of this City Hall, when court is in session. Banning carry in City Hall all the time when court meets only a few times per month is not allowed.

Since the record to date does not show whether the days that the OAG asserted the City was in violation were the same days that court was NOT in session, this will have to be sorted out at trial.

School-Sponsored Activity:

I was unaware until now that the City of Austin claimed that one of the reasons it can ban carry at the City Hall was because of school-sponsored activities. In particular City Hall has a "People's Gallery" of art that includes works by students in cooperation with the Austin ISD. The city argues that this is a school-sponsored activity. The judge ruled that passive display of art does is not a school-sponsored activity.

However, the City and the OAG agree that the school sponsored activity ban on LTC carry applies in City Hall when there are actual field trips or of the activities sponsored by the school being conducted.

Once again, it is not yet in the record as which days there were school sponsored activities in the City Hall, so that will have to be determined at trial.

City Meetings:

The City argued that it could also ban carry in the City Hall because it hosts open meetings that qualify under the 46.03 statute. The OAG argued the restriction applies only to the rooms that meetings are being held in and only when the meetings are being conducted. The judge agreed with the OAG.

OK. That's it for now. Go read the opinion for yourself.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby Papa_Tiger » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:31 pm

While not a slam dunk win for the city, it is quite obvious the judge is trying to limit when and where license holders may carry.

Based on my reading of the letter the judge believes:

Gun Busters signs have no force of law when applied to government entities (this is the only good thing that I see that came out of this)

Oral notification must reference 30.06 to be a violation of fines for signs (interpret the law as narrowly as possible to limit liability of the government)

The whole building is off limits any day that there is a court in session due to the definition of "premises" (building or portion of a building - interpret the law as broadly as possible to limit liability of the government)

Places where field trips are happening = off limits places to LTC holders (interpret the law as broadly as possible to prohibit guns). Side note the OAG didn't do LTC holders any favors here based off of the judge's words:
The OAG acknowledges that City Hall may properly prohibit firearms on "field trips" or when an activity is school-sponsored and "is conducted."


Based on this, fines for signs has no teeth and governments will continue to flaunt the law as much as they want with no fear of correction.

We'll get this fixed in the next legislative session. The GOP will save us! :roll: :mad5


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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby tool4daman » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:49 pm

Regarding the judge’s ruling on the gun buster sign holding no force of law (I’m paraphrasing).

I remember seeing another thread on this form or someone was asking if that constitutes notice. And I believe there were a few statements where an LEO who is teaching an LTC class claimed he would arrest someone for carrying past it.

I see a lot of statements on this site where people say they do not want to be the test case and there is no judicial precedent for things like this (an LTC holder carrying past a gun buster sign). But I would think this is now ACTUAL judicial precedence that the gun buster sign has no bearing on an LTC holder.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby jason812 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:41 pm

ELB wrote:I have found a copy of the judge's rulings of 27 Dec 2017. https://www.tml.org/p/Ltr%20%20-%20Paxt ... Gn-16-3340).pdf


School-Sponsored Activity:

I was unaware until now that the City of Austin claimed that one of the reasons it can ban carry at the City Hall was because of school-sponsored activities. In particular City Hall has a "People's Gallery" of art that includes works by students in cooperation with the Austin ISD. The city argues that this is a school-sponsored activity. The judge ruled that passive display of art does is not a school-sponsored activity.

However, the City and the OAG agree that the school sponsored activity ban on LTC carry applies in City Hall when there are actual field trips or of the activities sponsored by the school being conducted.

Once again, it is not yet in the record as which days there were school sponsored activities in the City Hall, so that will have to be determined at trial.



What does the state capital do regarding field trips? I would imagine there are quite a few every week and I haven't heard of the capital being off limits for LTC because of a school field trip. I thought the law clearly stated if you were a chaperone or part of the field trip you were not allowed to carry but if you were not a party to the field trip you were allowed. Does this mean if you are in a gas station and school bus on a field trip makes a pit stop, you must leave or quit carrying?

This could be bad if it is allowed to be an excuse to ban LTC.

Why can't the OAG put out the blanket policy/law/explanation that the municipalities have to follow the state capital policies? This would be similar to the gun laws that would prevent an individual city from banning a firearm that is not banned by the state.

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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby ELB » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:03 pm

Papa_Tiger wrote:While not a slam dunk win for the city, it is quite obvious the judge is trying to limit when and where license holders may carry.
I do not get this at all from her opinion, especially when she limits the times when LTC carry is prohibited to only when the court is in session. That's not trying to limit LTC carry as much as as possible.

Papa_Tiger wrote:Oral notification must reference 30.06 to be a violation of fines for signs (interpret the law as narrowly as possible to limit liability of the government)


She did not say this at all. In fact she said for Austin to benefit from this would be an absurd result.

She only stated that this can be a question. The issue of whether or not the security officer's statements were violations of law is still to be determined at trial.
>>> She did point out that an interpretation that oral notice must reference 30.06 cuts to the advantage of LTC holders in other situations, and believe me, an interpretation like this would a *** FAR*** greater benefit to LTC holders than it would to insubordinate governments. I don't think it will fly in the long run, but will be interesting to watch.

Papa_Tiger wrote:The whole building is off limits any day that there is a court in session due to the definition of "premises" (building or portion of a building - interpret the law as broadly as possible to limit liability of the government)

I don't like the effects of this, but I always thought the AG was reaching when he interpreted this part of the law to say it meant ONLY court rooms could be off-limits. Frankly I never thought that was what the Legislature intended. I think it was just aggressive opinionating by the AG.

Papa_Tiger wrote:Places where field trips are happening = off limits places to LTC holders (interpret the law as broadly as possible to prohibit guns). Side note the OAG didn't do LTC holders any favors here based off of the judge's words:
The OAG acknowledges that City Hall may properly prohibit firearms on "field trips" or when an activity is school-sponsored and "is conducted."
Given the AG's aggressiveness on the "premises" issue, he must feel this is already pretty well established in law.

Papa_Tiger wrote:Based on this, fines for signs has no teeth and governments will continue to flaunt the law as much as they want with no fear of correction.
Not at all. Signs have come down from government offices all over the state, both at local and state levels. They would not have if this law and the AG's pursuit of it not happened. To take an unwanted (and yet to be fully litigated) outcome on the courthouse issue and condemn the whole effort is not right.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby ELB » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:07 pm

jason812 wrote: ...

Why can't the OAG put out the blanket policy/law/explanation that the municipalities have to follow the state capital policies? This would be similar to the gun laws that would prevent an individual city from banning a firearm that is not banned by the state.


The AG is not supposed to make law, he is supposed to provide professional advice as to what the law is in given set of circumstances. It would be a bad thing for him to be able to dictate the law. Just because hemight dictate what we like wouldn't make it better.

The preemption on cities having independent and conflicting gun laws was passed by the Legislature, and that's how this whole school-sponsored activity nonsense should be dealt with.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby ELB » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:31 pm

BTW, in the part where the judge wonders if an oral notice might require reference to 30.06 she is referencing the dissent by a Justice Gray on the 10th Court of Appeals in a case discussed in this thread (but not in the initial post, you have to scroll down): viewtopic.php?f=7&t=87772&p=1187026#p1187026

Also, I think all the court docs for the Tafel case are in this file: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=87772&p=1187026#p1187026

If you dig in far enough you will find Justice Gray's dissent where he analyzes the effective notice requirements in great detail. Very interesting reading, just keep in mind he did not prevail over his colleagues.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby tool4daman » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:49 pm

I may be wrong, but...

I thought I had heard from one of the Texas Firearms Coalition podcasts that the off limits for school functions only applies to grounds under the school’s control. Otherwise, if you are eating in a restaurant, and a school bus full of kids on a field trip stop in, you are in violation.

So I don’t get how the City Hall could be off limits because of school field trips.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Postby TreyHouston » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:54 pm

jason812 wrote:
ELB wrote:I have found a copy of the judge's rulings of 27 Dec 2017. https://www.tml.org/p/Ltr%20%20-%20Paxt ... Gn-16-3340).pdf


School-Sponsored Activity:

I was unaware until now that the City of Austin claimed that one of the reasons it can ban carry at the City Hall was because of school-sponsored activities. In particular City Hall has a "People's Gallery" of art that includes works by students in cooperation with the Austin ISD. The city argues that this is a school-sponsored activity. The judge ruled that passive display of art does is not a school-sponsored activity.

However, the City and the OAG agree that the school sponsored activity ban on LTC carry applies in City Hall when there are actual field trips or of the activities sponsored by the school being conducted.

Once again, it is not yet in the record as which days there were school sponsored activities in the City Hall, so that will have to be determined at trial.



What does the state capital do regarding field trips? I would imagine there are quite a few every week and I haven't heard of the capital being off limits for LTC because of a school field trip. I thought the law clearly stated if you were a chaperone or part of the field trip you were not allowed to carry but if you were not a party to the field trip you were allowed. Does this mean if you are in a gas station and school bus on a field trip makes a pit stop, you must leave or quit carrying?

This could be bad if it is allowed to be an excuse to ban LTC.

Why can't the OAG put out the blanket policy/law/explanation that the municipalities have to follow the state capital policies? This would be similar to the gun laws that would prevent an individual city from banning a firearm that is not banned by the state.



Yes, I agree! We need to keep responsible gun carriers people FAR AWAY from large groups of students AND schools. WE ARE THE OBVIOUS THREAT. (Sarcasm)
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