Senate bill backs Potter County's ban on open carry in courthous - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Senate bill backs Potter County's ban on open carry in courthouse

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The state senate is considering a bill that would ban open carry in county court buildings in response to Attorney General Ken Paxton's ruling.

He ruled in December that open carry should be allowed in court buildings, but not courtrooms.

The Potter County Commissioners Court decided go against this opinion and ban open carry from all court buildings.

And now a bill from the state senate is supporting this choice.

Bill 501 states "the premises of a court, such as the courthouse itself, be given the same protections as the courtroom."

"A courtroom can consist of so many different areas in the building," said Nancy Tanner, Potter County Judge. "It's where people hang out, it's where the jurors sit - a common area is a place where it could be dangerous."

Since banning open carry, the county has not received complaints from citizens or the state because of the ban.

Tanner said she's glad for this, and keeps safety as her top priority and reason for banning open carry.

"I don't want anything to happen. I want these people to be safe, they're the employees of the county. And the first and foremost for me is their safety. That's a victory for me."

Almost all the district judges within Potter County have signed an order ruling that conceal nor open carry are allowed in any court building in the county.

"When I say courthouse, I mean this courthouse, the District Courts Building, as well as the Santa Fe Building because there's a court room in that building," said Tanner. "We do all kinds of hearings here. Child support, child custody. We make people mad every day. And we don't want them bringing a gun in here. That's just all there is to it."

The judges' signed order will be brought up for vote during Commissioners Court the second week of March.

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