- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gun rights advocates are taking aim at the Dallas Zoo over signs that say concealed weapons are prohibited inside the park.

Signage posted near the entrance of the 55-acre zoo informs visitors that firearms aren’t allowed inside. Upon passage of a new state law, however, a Second Amendment group now says gun owners should be given the go-ahead to carry guns whether near the hippo exhibit or the hummingbirds.

Recent complaints over the zoo’s anti-gun signage are spearheaded by Texas Law Shield, a coalition of attorneys who fight to maintain the right to bear arms within the Lone Star State.

Effective earlier this year, the Texas attorney general can pursue legal action in that event that gun owners are prohibited from carrying concealed firearms on public property.

Despite passage of the legislation, Dallas Zoo officials say they’re banning guns anyway because they consider the facility to be tantamount to an amusement park or educational institution.

“This idea that they’re an educational institution is completely ridiculous,” Edwin Walker of Texas Law Shield told a Fox News affiliate in Texas this week.

Mr. Walker said the Second Amendment group might be forced to take legal action against the Dallas Zoo unless the “no guns allowed” signs are removed from its entrance. And on the heels of a recent victory, the law may very well be on his side.

Earlier this month, the Houston Zoo removed its own long-standing “no guns” signage after Texas Law Shield said its rule ran foul of a state law adopted in May, which restricts government agencies from prohibiting concealed carry.

“I guarantee there is no license holder who is going to go to the zoo in anticipation of shooting a giraffe in front of a bunch of school children,” Mr. Walker told the Houston Press at the time. “The issue is just that this is a place where the government is not allowed to tell people that they can’t carry a licensed handgun. The Texas government has recognized that people have the right to defend themselves. How do they do that? With a gun.”

Representatives from the Dallas Zoo declined to speak on the record to reporters with the Fox affiliate, but the network reported that officials believe they’re exempt from the law despite being on city-owned land. If the Texas attorney general disagrees, than the zoo could face upwards of $10,000 a day in penalties in lieu of removing the signs.

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