Guide to Texas Firearm Signs
SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE PROHIBITED FROM CARRYING
51%, 30.06, 30.07, blue signs, oh my! In this post, we want to help law-abiding gun owners stay on the right side of the law with this simple guide to Texas' "no gun" signs.
Here in Texas, these signs are commonly called a "gun buster" sign. This image alone does not carry any force of law but may be a good indicator of a property owner's wishes to prohibit firearms on the premises. However, if a person carrying a gun is ever told that firearms are not permitted on the premises by a person with apparent authority (e.g., owner, employee, etc.), they should depart immediately.
This sign is often seen outside of grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants and has given more than a couple of headaches to Texas License to Carry ("LTC") Holders. In short, this sign only applies to non-LTC holders. This sign increases the general penalty of unlawfully carrying of a handgun (by non-LTC holders) from a misdemeanor to a felony. Businesses are required to post these signs if they hold a liquor permit or beer license and are not a 51% establishment (typically bars).
This is a 51% sign, which means that the business has a liquor permit or beer license and receives 51% or more of its income from the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption. This sign applies to both LTC and non-LTC holders. Carrying a firearm into a 51% business (except in strict limited circumstances) is a serious felony. While the Penal Code requires the sign to be conspicuously placed, we have seen these signs posted on inside walls and behind the bartender, so stay vigilant!
30.06 and 30.07 signs only apply to LTC holders. In short, a 30.06 sign that meets all legal requirements prohibits the concealed carry of a handgun by a license holder in the premises. A 30.07 sign that meets all legal requirements prohibits the open carry of a handgun by a license holder in the premises. If both signs are posted, it means that both open and concealed carry of a handgun by a license holder is NOT authorized.
In most instances, this trespass is a Class C Misdemeanor (punishable by a $200 fine only). However, in some locations (amusement parks, hospitals, and open meetings of governmental entities), the penalty is heightened to a Class A Misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a fine up to $4,000, plus court costs).
These signs may be seen near schools, and they serve as a warning under state and federal law. Under Texas law, this sign does not create a new crime but is a good indicator that certain weapons crimes committed by any person in that area (within 300 feet of a school) may have a heightened criminal penalty. Under federal law, this sign serves as a warning to non-Texas LTC holders that it would be a crime to possess a firearm on the grounds of or within 1,000 feet of a school. There are additional exceptions to the federal law that make it a bit more sensible—but for purposes of this article, we are limiting our discussion to handgun licenses issued by the state in which the federal gun-free school zone is located.
Note on signs posted on federal premises or facilities: Generally, a person is prohibited from carrying in or on the premises of federal facilities and property, including VA Hospitals, US Post Offices, parking lots, and grounds. Use extreme caution and take time to learn the law before carrying in one of these locations as it is likely illegal.
We hope you found this quick refresher helpful; we always want Texas gun owners to stay legal because as we all know, ignorance of the law is not an excuse (or a valid legal defense).
Author: Richard D. Hayes, II
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website does not contain legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different, and this material is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of, a licensed attorney.