Sabine Co. resident furious about courthouse ban

Sabine Co. resident furious about courthouse ban
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Counties all over East Texas ban citizens from carrying guns in courthouses, both open-carry and concealed.

One East Texas man said the Sabine County ban goes too far.

"I'm tired of being a second class citizen," said Marshall Williams, an upset Sabine County resident.

Williams said he does not approve of the ban on concealed and open-carry guns at the Sabine County courthouse and will stop at nothing until something is done.

"The new law provides for civil penalties for government agencies that do this kind of foolishness, and I hope that they are fined to the absolute maximum," Williams said.

Before the January state law that allowed open carry, residents in Sabine County were allowed to conceal-carry at the courthouse. However, since then things have changed.

"This is all bogus because for 20 years, they didn't do it," Williams said. "When open-carry came along they suddenly go into all this rigmarole."

So Williams wrote a complaint to the attorney general. His argument was that the legislature banned guns in "government court." which he said is just the courtroom.

"A hallway and a potty is not a government court, no matter what these people say," Williams said referring to Sabine County officials.

Sabine County Judge Daryl Melton said he does not have a problem with handguns. However Williams said the signs that state open- and concealed-carry is banned is saying something different.

"They're abusing their office to try to circumvent the open-carry law; that's exactly what they're doing," Williams said.

Melton responded to Williams's complaint and said the Texas Legislature has not clearly established a boundary in a building at which handguns are prohibited. So during a commissioner's court meeting, the county came up with a resolution that banned weapons from entering the courthouse altogether.

 "They don't like it, they don't want it, and they're going to find a way to get around it," Williams said.

Under the open-carry law, if a business wants to prohibit all handguns on its property, it must post two signs in English and Spanish. One sign banning concealed handguns and another banning open-carry.

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