Harris County DA wants to limit firearms in court


lukem

Administrator
Staff member
AUSTIN — Harris County District Attorney Ken Magidson has asked the state's top lawyer if he can legally stop his assistants from taking handguns into courtrooms despite a new law removing most restrictions on where prosecutors with gun licenses can carry their weapons.

Magidson requires members of his staff, even those with concealed handgun licenses, to obtain his permission, as a condition of employment, before they can carry a firearm into a court.

He is seeking Attorney General Greg Abbott's opinion on whether he can continue his policy, despite a 2007 law that allows prosecutors with handgun licenses to pack their pistols anywhere except jails or prisons. They also are prohibited from carrying while intoxicated.

"While it may now be legal for a prosecutor to carry a licensed concealed handgun in a courtroom, I retain significant concerns with regard to the level of training that should be required in order to permit prosecutors to safely carry firearms in the volatile environment of a criminal courthouse," Magidson said in a letter to Abbott.

The letter, sent earlier this month, recently was posted on the attorney general's Web site.

Magidson said his predecessor, Chuck Rosenthal, enforced a formal written policy prohibiting prosecutors from taking firearms into courtrooms.

Although the Legislature changed the law, Magidson said he has continued to require his assistants to obtain his permission before taking handguns into court. He said he allows only prosecutors "who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency to a certified firearms instructor on my staff" to do so.

He is seeking Abbott's opinion because several of his assistants questioned the legality of his policy.

Magidson argued that the new changes don't restrict his ability, as an employer, to impose his own requirements on employees.

"The authority of an employer to restrict the carrying of licensed handguns on the premises under the employer's control is expressly recognized" in state law, Magidson said.

Rob Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, said his group didn't seek the 2007 changes. He said as far as he knew they had become an issue only in Harris, Fort Bend and El Paso counties but didn't know how any disputes were resolved.

Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey couldn't be reached Monday for comment.

Magidson allows prosecutors who have handgun licenses to carry their weapons in the district attorney's offices and unrestricted areas of county buildings.

Source: Chron.com
 

DougG

New member
Harris Co. DA

When my nephew was with the Harris County DA office, they required all ADA's to get a carry permit to protect theirselves and family from people on bail that they were dealing with.
 
It's a sad situation when you can't trust your own people. :nono: What is this world coming to. I always thought that TX was somewhat "pro gun". :confused:



gf
 

KevinCasey

New member
It seems that the Procecuter should just make firearms training by his staff firearms expert mandadory ! then he would be resolving his own issues without impinging on the rights of his employees !I bet it would take less time and money to train them than to resolve the issue in court ! Kevin
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
It's a sad situation when you can't trust your own people. :nono: What is this world coming to. I always thought that TX was somewhat "pro gun". :confused:



gf

Not Harris County. About three years ago, when the TX legislature changed the definition of "traveling" to allow unlicensed car carry, Harris County police continued to arrest people carrying guns in their cars without licenses.
 

LDaniel

New member
Not Harris County. About three years ago, when the TX legislature changed the definition of "traveling" to allow unlicensed car carry, Harris County police continued to arrest people carrying guns in their cars without licenses.


That was the previous District Attorneys doings. He upset a lot of people with his anti gun rantings on the subject, and he was a Republican!
He was forced to resign on another matter. I never did like him.

Since then that law has been revised to make it clearer to law enforcement when people can carry in vehicles.
 

styxtx

New member
Watch out for Harris County Constables too they have the power to arrest, and still might try to arrest car gun carry people CCL license or no.
 

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