*Message From Our President Constable Robert Vasquez*
To All STJPCA Members,
I just wanted to thank everyone for a successful conference this year. I’m hoping everyone had a great time and enjoyed the training sessions.
We are already working on the 2017 Conference, so if there is something you would like to see as far as training, please send us an email and let us know.
Reminder, our goal is to have one hundred or more in attendance at the next conference. Start recruiting now! If you need a membership form , please download one from our website.
I look forward to working with our Board of Directors and with all of you to make our 25th Annual Conference a great one!
Stay Vigilant and Stay Safe!
Constable Robert Vasquez President for STJPCA
From the TJCTC in regards to Open Carry:
Dear Judges and Clerks:
As many of you are aware, Texas’ new “open carry” law took effect on January 1, 2016. The new law allows individuals who hold a handgun license (formerly known as a “concealed handgun license”) to openly carry a firearm in a belt holster or a shoulder holster.
Please be aware that the new law does not allow handgun license holders (or anyone else) to carry a firearm in your courtroom or in your court offices. Section 46.03 of the Penal Code prohibits an individual, other than an officer of the court, from possessing a weapon in these locations unless such possession has been approved in writing by the court.
Although it is clear that Texas law generally prohibits the possession of firearms in courtrooms, you should be aware that there is an ongoing debate over what constitutes a court office. Texas’ Attorney General recently released two opinions addressing this question, and links to those opinions are provided below. These opinions indicate that if your justice court shares a building with other county offices then it’s possible that the possession of firearms, including the open carrying of firearms, may be allowed in other portions of the building.
TJCTC will address the issue of open carry in greater detail in our upcoming Quarterly Report, which will be delivered to you later this month. We encourage you to communicate with your fellow justices of the peace and county officials regarding your county’s policies regarding the possession of firearms in county buildings.
The TJCTC Legal Department