Hays County Readies for Open Carry at Government Center
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Following opinions from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Hays County officials are readying the Hays County Government Center for licensed persons carrying firearms, concealed or unconcealed, to have access to appropriate areas of the building at 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos.
The Government Center houses many administrative offices as well as criminal courts and the County had requested an opinion to clarify the Legislature’s intended relationship between courthouse security concerns and the rights of licensed handgun carriers. Following the AG’s opinions (KP-0047 and KP-0049) the County will reallocate some of its screening areas so that licensed handgun carriers who want access to the first floor can have access while carrying their hand guns, while those visiting other floors can be screened separately and either leave their handguns in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office Security Detail while in the building or return their guns to their vehicles.
“The AG’s opinions helped us determine how to structure access,” Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler said. “We now have a plan in place that no doubt we will refine as we move forward, but will allow us to be in compliance with the appropriate screening and signage when the building reopens January 4.”
The Government Center and all County offices will be closed December 31 and January 1 for the New Year holiday and will reopen at their regular times on January 4.
Sheriff Cutler noted that as of January 1, the public may be seeing citizens who are not law enforcement officers openly carrying firearms based on the new law and that the Sheriff’s Office has been training for this legislative change. “As with any legislative change involving law enforcement, we will adjust as necessary to respond to circumstances based on the information available to us and the law in effect at the time,” he said.