No, Houston Gay Pride Officials Can’t Declare Texas Streets ‘Gun-Free’

Emma Solorzano, 13, of Jefferson, holds a sign saying Gun Free Zones Make Me a Target at a rally protesting gun control legislation and supporting gun rights in Wiscasset on Saturday, March 9, 2013, About 175 people attended the rally, which was organized by Jessica Beckwith of Lewiston, who is …
Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

HOUSTON, Texas — Organizers for the Houston Pride celebration have declared the parade route and other parade events to be “gun-free” despite open carry and concealed handgun laws in Texas.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, organizers have remained steadfast to their declaration that no one can carry firearms.

This decision comes less than two weeks after the Orlando Islamic terrorist attack at a gay nightclub which killed almost 50 people and wounded more than 50 more. This tragedy happened at another “gun-free zone.”

The Pride Houston website states that “No Firearms Allowed at Any Pride Houston Events” and cites sections 30.06 and 30.07 of the Texas Penal Code, as reported by Breitbart Texas. The message also appears in Spanish. Organizers also say, “We will also be posting the policy regarding firearms on our site, social media outlets and at the parade. Firearms, concealed or open carry, will not be allowed.”

CJ Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas (OCT) told Breitbart Texas, “The organizers of the Pride parade in Houston have created a policy that is foolish and unenforceable,” Grisham told Breitbart Texas on Saturday morning. “The bottom line is that they cannot ban guns at this public event. They can prevent participants in the parade from carrying, but not spectators and other citizens. For a group that is the target of Islamic extremists, I can’t fathom why they would not want the means and ability to defend themselves.” Grisham added, “Many of our members will be there and we will not obey unlawful demands to disarm.”

The Shiloh Gun Range’s Jeff Sanford told Breitbart Texas, “It’s a moot point, because as far as I understand Texas law [Texas Penal Code 42.035(f)(3)], the parade organizers cannot declare a public road or sidewalk a gun free zone. Bottom line, concealed means just that. No one knows you have it unless you have to use it. And I’m sick of seeing my fellow, unarmed Americans led to slaughter.”

Houston Pride officials have remained committed to their decision even though the Houston Pride parade was the source of a threat on Twitter, as reported by Breitbart Texas.

Olivia Maynard said, “I do not agree a private entity should be able to declare a public roadway a gun-free zone. People have the right to be, and feel safe in such dangerous and uncertain times. Particularly, when threats have already been made.” Maynard is a transgender person who has written an OP-ED that was published in Breitbart Texas.

Rhonda Omberg told Breitbart Texas, “While I understand the reasoning for making such rules; unfortunately we all know criminals can’t read. The Orlando shooter never even considered reading the warnings against carrying a weapon inside the club at the front door. That being said, I have faith in law enforcement that they are doing everything they can to head off any threats but there are no guarantees, of course. We will enjoy the festival and the parade without fear and celebrate our lives, which I know offends some, but we have as much freedom as gay people as anyone else.”

“That is what we are celebrating,” Omberg added.

Another member of the gay community had the opposite opinion. “As a member of the LGBT community, I think it makes logical sense to declare the Pride Parade as a gun-free zone in light of recent events,” Michael Pearce told Breitbart Texas. “While I support gun ownership and own a handgun to protect my house and family, I don’t think we should make it easier for people to commit these heinous crimes, especially when there’s already been a real threat of violence.”

The LGBT gun rights group Pink Pistols has seen their membership grow from 1,500 to more than 7,000 since the Orlando terrorist attack, as reported by Breitbart News’ AWR Hawkins on June 23.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.



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