Bush IAH Airport Deceitful Signage

This is a discussion on Bush IAH Airport Deceitful Signage within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My sister was arriving into our local airport here in Houston today . . . and being the loyal brother that I am, I went ...

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Thread: Bush IAH Airport Deceitful Signage

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    Member Array nova83tx's Avatar
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    Bush IAH Airport Deceitful Signage

    My sister was arriving into our local airport here in Houston today . . . and being the loyal brother that I am, I went and picked her up at the airport.

    She was arriving at terminal E, so I parked the car in one of the short-term garages, and walked to the elevators. I walked up to the elevators and noticed that it had a common "No Weapons/No Guns" sticker/symbol.

    I smiled and pressed the button ready to enter the terminal, knowing full well in Texas that unless they have a 30.06 posting, these little notices have no legal weight . . . but then I noticed some fine print next to it :

    "Pursuant to Article XII of Chapter 2 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances, no firearms or other weapons are permitted on these premises unless they are taken immediately to the airline ticket counter and checked-in as baggage in accordance with 14 CFR Part 108. Persons who do not comply with this notice are subject to criminal prosecution."

    As I am bending over reading this fine print, the elevator arrives at the floor, doors open, and there are 2 uniformed HPD standing there. Reading the fine print and not knowing the ordinance, then hitting the 2 officers, I figured I would play it safe and walk ALL THE WAY back to my car to secure my firearm in the trunk. There was no way these cops would have noticed printing or any sign that I was carrying, but I didn't want to take the chance I was breaking city ordinances.

    First thing I do when I get home is pull up trusty Google and get to work. I found the text regarding this specific Houston Ordinance :

    "Sec. 2-411. Definitions.
    As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the context of their usage clearly indicates another meaning:

    City premises means a property or portion of a property that is owned by the city or is in the possession of the city by a lease or other right and is regularly maintained or occupied by employees of the city and utilized for the conducting of business of the city.

    Secure area means any area upon any city premises to which access is controlled by a security system or security post.
    Security post means any location on city premises that is manned by any contract security officer, certified peace officer or city security personnel.

    Security system means magnetometers, X-ray devices, card-operated entry systems, camera surveillance systems, operating regulations and related measures, or any combination thereof, that may be installed, promulgated and operated upon any city premises to ensure that persons entering a secure area do not have weapons in their possession.

    Security official means the director of the general services department or such individual as the said director may designate as the official primarily responsible for the administration and enforcement of this article.

    Weapon means a firearm, explosive device, club, knife or other offensive or defensive instrument as more particularly defined by regulation of the mayor under this article."

    (Ord. No. 95-1200, § 3, 11-15-95; Ord. No. 09-15, § 2, 1-14-09)

    Sec. 2-415. Weapons on city premises.

    (a) The mayor is authorized to establish regulations consistent with applicable state and federal laws relating to the possession of certain weapons upon city premises.

    (b) Signage consistent with applicable state and federal laws to advise persons of Texas Penal Code provisions relating to the possession of certain weapons on specified city premises may be posted upon those city premises, and copies of such provisions made available for inspection upon each premises to which they pertain and in the office of the city secretary.

    (c) Compliance with regulations promulgated under this section is a condition of the entry upon and use of each premises to which they are applicable.

    (d) All employees and contract security personnel of the city are authorized for and on behalf of the city to notify any person who fails to comply with any regulation promulgated under this section to depart from the applicable city premises.

    (e) Any person who enters or remains on city premises after written notice not to enter or verbal notice to depart as required by section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code shall be subject to prosecution under section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code for criminal trespass in addition to prosecution for any other crime that he may have committed.

    (f) Any person who carries a prohibited weapon, including a handgun licensed under subchapter H, chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code, on city premises prohibited by sections 46.03 and 46.035 of the Texas Penal Code shall be subject to prosecution under sections and 46.03 and 46.035(c) of the Texas Penal Code.

    (Ord. No. 95-1200, § 3, 11-15-95; Ord. No. 09-15, § 2, 1-14-09)

    ____________________________________________

    Now anyone who carries in Texas knows part 46.03/46.035 of the penal code quite well . . . so I am not going to post the whole part like some do. Part 46.03 has to do with places where carry is prohibited, and the only text that concerns airports is section 5 :

    46.03(a)A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses
    or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon
    listed in Section 46.05(a):


    46.03(a)(5) : in or into a secured area of an airport

    ____________________________________________

    When it comes down to it, am I correct in understanding that this sign is false and misleading? It is essentially telling you that you can not enter the airport terminal, but the ordinance and penal code all say that you can.

    I was very annoyed that I walked all the way back to my trunk, when after researching, it turns out that I could have legally carried into the terminal, and not have violated any city ordinances.

    I don't mind a business ignorant of the law posting incorrect legal text and references . . . but I would hope that a major airport would not post something so misleading.

    At least I have a peace of mind next airport run, that I can stay armed and safe, and know with confidence I am still completely legal.
    Glock 26 w/ CTAC IWB

    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far" - Theodore Roosevelt

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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    What is the status of pre-emption in Texas? If the state code does not allow local pre-emption of state firearms laws, then it shouldn't matter what is in Houston's laws; the state law requires a 30.06 sign.

    I ask this as an honest question, since I am not that familiar with Texas law.
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    Member Array nova83tx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    What is the status of pre-emption in Texas? If the state code does not allow local pre-emption of state firearms laws, then it shouldn't matter what is in Houston's laws; the state law requires a 30.06 sign..
    That is a fantastic question. I am not aware what the state laws are in Texas regarding pre-emption.

    I can't wait for a few more educated replies from those wiser than myself so I can learn something new.
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    I am quite certain there is state preemption and that only a 30.06 sign counts. That of course doesn't mean you wouldn't be arrested and inconvenienced if you were caught violating the posted sign.

    30.05 referenced above says, "(e) Any person who enters or remains on city premises after written notice not to enter or verbal notice to depart as required by section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code shall be subject to prosecution under section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code for criminal trespass in addition to prosecution for any other crime that he may have committed."

    Then, comes (f) on page 33 of the handbook, "It is a defense to prosecution under this section that: (2) the person was carrying a concealed handgun and a license issued under Subchapter H, 411, Government Code, to carry a concealed handgun of the same category the person was carrying."

    It is late, so I'm in no mood or shape to look it (preemption) up.

    Unless what it says on page 33 of the handbook is not referring to all of 30.05 starting on page 31 of the handbook, it would appear that you were good to go.

    My take, IANAL, is there must be a 30.06 sign.
    Personally though, I wouldn't push the issue because it is unlikely security there know or care what the law actually is.

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    Member Array Florian's Avatar
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    do you mean deceptive?


    F

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    "Pursuant to Article XII of Chapter 2 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances, no firearms or other weapons are permitted on these premises unless they are taken immediately to the airline ticket counter and checked-in as baggage in accordance with 14 CFR Part 108. Persons who do not comply with this notice are subject to criminal prosecution."

    CFR means Code of Federal Regulations. Houston is only complying with federal law. I wouldn't push it. You are on government owned property.
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    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Texas does indeed have state-wide preemption of all firearm laws. Unfortunately, cities pass their feel-good ordinances anyway, and even if you are legally in the clear to ignore them, if you're caught, chances are pretty good that the local PD and DA will make your life miserable for the next few years anyway.

    That particular signage is pretty misleading. Looks to me like they're trying to comply with the letter of the preemption law, but still intimidate CHL-holders who don't have a handy copy of the Houston municipal code and Texas penal code to thumb through and see what it really says.
    "A well-educated electorate, being necessary to the continuance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
    Is this hard to understand? Then why does it get unintelligible to some people when 5 little words are changed?

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    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
    "Pursuant to Article XII of Chapter 2 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances, no firearms or other weapons are permitted on these premises unless they are taken immediately to the airline ticket counter and checked-in as baggage in accordance with 14 CFR Part 108. Persons who do not comply with this notice are subject to criminal prosecution."

    CFR means Code of Federal Regulations. Houston is only complying with federal law. I wouldn't push it. You are on government owned property.
    To my knowledge, federal regs apply only within the secured area. That appears to be referring to regs about checking firearms in baggage, not lawfully carrying a firearm outside the secured area.
    "A well-educated electorate, being necessary to the continuance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
    Is this hard to understand? Then why does it get unintelligible to some people when 5 little words are changed?

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    Member Array nova83tx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob The Great View Post
    To my knowledge, federal regs apply only within the secured area. That appears to be referring to regs about checking firearms in baggage, not lawfully carrying a firearm outside the secured area.
    This is exactly right . . . the CFR part of this misleading sign has to do with Federal Regs about the transporting of firearms when you fly. The federal Regs have nothing to do about concealed carry at the airport before the secure area.

    _____________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Personally though, I wouldn't push the issue because it is unlikely security there know or care what the law actually is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
    I wouldn't push it. You are on government owned property.
    I appreciate the advice . . . but if I followed it I would never carry at my local mall, local Best Buy, local bank, because all of these locations have security that are uneducated about current concealed carry laws.

    I also would not be able to carry seeing as how many of us are on "government" owned property all the time. My library, for example, is "government" owned and I carry there legally all the time.

    I am still learning many things about concealed daily life, but one thing I have learned is how to conceal well. I take great care in keeping wardrobe and equipment that will prevent me from being in a situation where I need to discuss the laws with a PT security guard, because there is no way they are finding out.

    I assume I am not alone, I carry 16/7 everywhere I go that it is legal to do so, and carry amongst those that are ignorant of the current concealed carry laws (which is pretty much EVERYONE)
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    Member Array nova83tx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob The Great View Post
    That particular signage is pretty misleading. Looks to me like they're trying to comply with the letter of the preemption law, but still intimidate CHL-holders who don't have a handy copy of the Houston municipal code and Texas penal code to thumb through and see what it really says.
    This is exactly why I took the time to write down the text of that sign, and post it here for everyone to read and comment on.

    I felt quite annoyed, because I was bamboozled with their inaccurate interpretation, and disarmed when there was no need too.

    As I said originally, I don't mind signs that state the correct and current laws . . . but I don't appreciate when they just make things up as they go along at a major international airport.
    Glock 26 w/ CTAC IWB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
    snip-->
    CFR means Code of Federal Regulations. Houston is only complying with federal law. I wouldn't push it. You are on government owned property.
    Bacon, CFR regs as you stated applies to government property either owned or leased. Is (IAH) Houston Airport government owned? I know that Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) is operated and owned property of Palm Beach County not the federal government. Also here in Florida state regs say we cannot carry into any airport terminal.
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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    As others, IANAL, but...

    Here's my take. The Houston sign only refers to the requirements for transporting a weapon as a traveler (since that is the only part covered by Federal regulations outside of the secure terminal area). The way the sign is posted, no distinction is made—perhaps deliberately—between firearms transport and lawful concealed carry. This would be analogous, IMO, to the way some stores put up "No Weapons" signs that specifically do not apply to lawful concealed carry...but you have to know the laws or read the fine print to figure this out.

    So, anyway, assuming all the laws posted in this thread are accurately represented, I would think that only a 30.06 sign could make it unlawful for you to carry concealed with a valid permit in the public area of the airport.

    Of course, this same issue came up in Atlanta after the GA laws changed to allow concealed carry on public transportation, &c. Atlanta specifically said it would arrest people for carrying at Hartfield Airport, even though state law now allows it and GA state law pre-empts local firearms laws. Anyone know if Atlanta ever tried to enforce that...?
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Houston or any other city for that matter in Texas can place whatever wording they want whereever they want. Texas specifically addresses this in the code and prohibits a municipality from posting signage on buildings that they own.

    The following is the last section of the 30.06 statute.

    (e) It is an exception to the application of this section that the property on which the license holder carries a handgun is owned or leased by a governmental entity and is not a premises or other place on which the license holder is prohibited from carrying the handgun under Section 46.03 or 46.035.
    So even if they do post a 30.06 sign and it doesn't fall under these two sections you can walk right past in when it is on a government (state or municipal, not federal) building.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Nova's original post was with reference to terminal E. I think that is the International Arrivals-departures terminal with a Customs facility inside.

    Perhaps, this bldg is Federally owned or controlled? In which case it would be illegal to carry inside; though the sign is weird, wrong, and unclear.

    They need to either be posting a 30.06, a sign stating that it is Federal property no guns allowed (using the prescribed sign which is on Federal bldgs), or change to the sign which says something like Unlicensed Possession is a Felony, thus making clear that licensed carriage is O.K.

    Houston by itself is constrained by state preemption, but who knows who actually owns and or controls Terminal E. Weird stuff.

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    Member Array nova83tx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Nova's original post was with reference to terminal E. I think that is the International Arrivals-departures terminal with a Customs facility inside.
    This is exactly right . . . Terminal E is an International Terminal with Customs inside. In regards to who owns/controls the terminal, everyone's guess is as good as mine.

    Weird Stuff . . . absolutely. A small part of me wants to email the manager/customer service rep at Bush to get clarification on the issue. I of course will not do this, seeing as how I would point out the flaw and they may take appropriate action to fix the signs with 30.06.
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