- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas’ state-run homes for disabled residents have begun letting people with concealed handgun permits carry weapons into the facilities.

Officials ended longstanding gun bans at the 13 state-supported campuses in January. Licensed visitors are being asked to voluntarily stow their guns, or to at least conceal them, The Dallas Morning News (https://bit.ly/1suWWON ) reported.

Officials said new firearms legislation prompted them to review the weapons policies. The change appears to put the gun rules in compliance with what’s been the law for years because the centers aren’t listed as a place where guns can be barred.

The Department of Aging and Disability Services runs the centers, where 3,100 Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities live. The facilities used to have signs outside indicating that guns were not permitted.

The action comes at a time when much attention has been paid to the state’s new open carry law. But the real driver in the debate is another new law that allows Texans to challenge some public gun bans.

Department spokeswoman Cecilia Cavuto said there weren’t any requests to allow firearms on the campuses in the past.

“To our knowledge, there were never any requests by people who wanted to carry firearms on any of the campuses, nor any complaints regarding the signs,” Cavuto said.

The state law still lists some exceptions, such as schools and jails, but the state-supported living centers don’t fit any of those definitions.


Information from: The Dallas Morning News, https://www.dallasnews.com

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