AUSTIN, TX (KLTV) - Texans who are licensed handgun owners can legally bring loaded weapons into Texas churches, the attorney general says - as long as the church doesn't have a sign posted banning weapons.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a legal opinion on the matter Thursday. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asked Paxton to clear up the issue in early December in the aftermath of the Sutherland Springs church shooting.
"If a church decides to exclude the concealed or open carrying of handguns on the premises of church property, it may provide the requisite notice, thereby making it an offense for a license holder to carry a handgun on those premises," Paxton writes. "However, churches may instead decide not to provide notice and to allow the carrying of handguns on their premises."
But notice must be posted, Paxton says.
"Unless a church provides effective oral or written notice prohibiting the carrying of handguns on its property, a license holder may carry a handgun onto the premises of church property as the law allows," the opinion reads.
The opinion also noted that Senate Bill 2065, which became effective on Sept. 1, exempts churches from state fees for creating volunteer security teams.