30.06 Signs illegally posted on public buildings
By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press
FERRIS – On June 4, Ferris City Council members received a letter reminding them of the law. The letter stated the city had posted a sign banning citizens from carrying a handgun in several public buildings where in fact, it is legal to carry.
“They are breaking the law and infringing on Texans’ Second Amendment rights,” said handgun instructor Charles Hatfield who brought the discrepancy to the attention of the council.
Senate Bill 273 passed by the 84th Legislature states citizens may file complaints against these political subdivisions that unlawfully post signs prohibiting concealed weapons on property where concealed handgun license holders are legally permitted to carry.
As a matter of course and done procedurally individuals who observe violations must first file a complaint with the government that appears to be in violation. If the entity does not remove the sign within three days, citizens may file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s Office to investigate the matter and enforce the law.
This law became effective on Sept. 1, 2015.
The two locations in Ferris where the violations occurred were the Ferris Finance Department on S. Central Street and the Ferris Public Library on S Mable Street.
The city corrected the violation almost immediately upon receiving the letter.
When violations are not corrected in a timely manner the state agency or political subdivision of the state violating this law can be liable for a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 and not more than $1,500 for the first violation; and not less than $10,000 and not more than $10,500 for the second or a subsequent violation.
Each day of a continuing violation is a separate violation.
When money is collected for such a violation by the attorney general it is normally deposited to the credit of the compensation to victims of a crime fund established under a code relating to criminal procedure.
“As a licensed Texas Handgun instructor, it is my duty to let students know where they can and cannot carry their handguns,” Hatfield said.
“I had requested the city take immediate action and remove the illegal signs and they did so accordingly.”