Guns at zoos? Texas says no while struggling to tame rules

This handout photo courtesy of Edwin Walker shows the entrance to the Dallas Zoo. Walker with Texas Law Shield says cities and other government bodies have too broadly interpreted state law to believe they can restrict gun possession. He says concealed weapons can be carried in public places, including the Dallas Zoo. (Edwin Walker via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is still sorting out where firearms are allowed a year after the state vastly expanded gun rights, which included allowing openly holstered weapons.

Lingering disputes over whether public places including zoos and county courthouses are gun-free zones frustrate advocates on both sides of the debate. The state’s Republican attorney general warned community and junior colleges this week not to impose blanket bans on firearms, even though children are sometimes on campus.

Gun-rights activist Terry Holcomb says the uncertainty in some places has created a “big mess.” A county near Houston sued Holcomb over the right to keep guns out of its courthouse after he filed a complaint.

Texas surpassed 1 million licensed concealed carry holders this year. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott legalized concealed firearms on college campuses last year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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