Maybe the new signs can read "Please do not feed or shoot the animals"?
Perhaps fearing retribution from friends of Cecil the Lion, a gun owners' rights attorney has forced Houston to remove all signage prohibiting guns inside the city's zoo. The "No Guns" signs were officially taken down from the Houston Zoo following the court's deicsion.
The lawyer, Edwin Walker Texas Law Shield, sent a demand letter to the city, the zoo, and its corporate entity earlier this month. In Texas, a private business can ban guns with Texas Penal Code 30.06. If there's a 30.06 sign, you're not allowed in with your gun.
The Houston Zoo is a privately owned business, but it rents land from the City of Houston. This is the loophole Walker is using (Texas Penal Code §46.03) in which, confusingly, the only government owned property that Texans aren't allowed to carry concealed weapons are buildings used by the courts system.
The zoo removed the signs and is "investigating the legal implications of the request" in the meantime, so they could return shortly.
Some of the zoo patrons don't think it's that big of a deal.
"I hunt and everything, so I'm not going to hurt someone with a gun," a man named John told the Houston CBS affiliate. "If you feel more secure with a gun, carry a gun."
"If you have the right to carry, you should be able to carry," said Chrissy Richey, another zoo visitor. "That's my opinion. Everyone should be safe. If you think carrying a gun makes you safe."
In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new open carry law that would also allow open carry on college campuses. It goes into effect January 1, 2016.
Other paid attendees at the zoo, meanwhile, do not see the purpose of bringing your gun to a zoo.
"Why would you want to bring a gun to the zoo?" Damian Manuel, a zoo visitor, told the Houston CBS affiliate. "I mean that's kind of crazy,"
"I probably won't be coming here anymore, but probably bad for them," Anna Runge said, perhaps not wishing to attend a gun zoo.
There is no word, yet, if the animals will also be given guns.
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