More and more, apartment complexes have been putting up Texas Penal Code Section 30.06 and 30.07 signs seemingly overnight without any explanation to residents. Understandably, this has been leaving gun owners confused about their rights to possess and carry handguns and how to proceed while their right to self-defense is in jeopardy.
- Can I still have a firearm in my apartment?
Yes! 30.06 and 30.07 signs posted around the complex do not interfere with an individual’s right to possess a handgun in his or her apartment. However, it’s important to make sure your lease doesn’t have any provisions prohibiting you from keeping a firearm in the apartment. We’ve seen it happen where a gun owner lawfully defends themselves, but their apartment complex evicts them for violating the lease provision regarding the possession of firearms in their leased apartments.
- Can I still have a firearm in my vehicle on the premises?
Yes! Because you are authorized to carry your firearm in your vehicle under Texas Penal Code 46.02(a)(2) and not pursuant to your License to Carry, 30.06 and 30.07 signs will not interfere with your ability to carry a concealed handgun or a visible holstered handgun en route to or inside your vehicle.
- So how do I get my firearm from my car to the apartment?
If there is a posted 30.06 or 30.07 sign, you are prohibited from carrying pursuant to your Texas License to Carry. However, there are other provisions in the law that allow you to carry! You are allowed to carry your firearm directly from your apartment to your car and vice versa. Our recommendation is to take as direct a path as possible between those two places to ensure that there are no legal complications. In other words, don’t decide it’s time to head down to the mail boxes, or carry as you take out the trash. With that said, a 30.06/30.07 violation is a $200 fine if you are caught, so it will be up to you to weigh the risk versus the reward. Remember that it remains a Class A misdemeanor if you are given notice to leave, and fail to comply with that verbal warning!
- What about if the sign is posted on the gate/fence/leasing office?
Depending on where the signs are posted, they could have different implications. If the signs are posted only on the entrances to buildings, the concealed and/or open carry of handguns would be prohibited only in the posted buildings of the complex. However, if the signs are posted at the entrance to the complex (i.e., the gate or fence), the concealed and/or open carry of handguns is essentially banned in all public areas. This means that if you walk anywhere that is not your vehicle or apartment, stop to sit on a bench, or enter the leasing office, you could be in violation of the criminal trespassing statutes.
Unfortunately, these signs have been popping up with greater and greater frequency, and show no signs of stopping. If possible, the best course of action is to wait out your lease, and then move to an apartment complex that respects an individual’s right to bear arms for the protection of themselves, their families, and their property!