UPDATE: There are differing views in both legal and law enforcement circles about whether or not open carry of longarms is permissable in TABC-licensed facilities. While the signs posted in businesses that sell or distribute alcoholic beverages specifically state they apply to the “unlicensed posession” of firearms, the regulation itself doesn’t make that distinction. It applies to the “any firearms,” which would seem to include rifles and shotguns. My advice is that until there is a thorough legal review members don’t put licensees in that position to potentially lose their licenses. I have requested an AG opinion on the issue. – CJ
We are all aware about the 51% signs on businesses that earn that percentage or more of their income from alcohol and what that means to gunowners. According to Texas law, no guns – concealed or open – are allowed on the premises of those establishments. The signs are posted in red letters. But, do you know the law as it pertains to the blue signs of businesses that serve alcohol under a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission license? There are some misconceptions and misunderstandings so I want to clear them up.
According to the Alcoholic Beverage Code (what if you’re not an alcoholic?), a TABC license holder could lose their license if they allow someone to openly carry a firearm on their premises.
SUBCHAPTER C. CANCELLATION AND SUSPENSION OF PERMITS
Sec. 11.61. CANCELLATION OR SUSPENSION OF PERMIT.
(e) Except as provided by Subsection (f) or (i), the commission or administrator shall cancel an original or renewal permit if it is found, after notice and hearing, that the permittee knowingly allowed Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (2012) 34 a person to possess a firearm in a building on the licensed premises. This subsection does not apply to a person:
(1) who holds a security officer commission issued under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, if:
(A) the person is engaged in the performance of the person’s duties as a security officer;
(B) the person is wearing a distinctive uniform; and
(C) the weapon is in plain view;
(2) who is a peace officer;
(3) who is a permittee or an employee of a permittee if the person is supervising the operation of the premises; or
(4) who possesses a concealed handgun of the same category the person is licensed to carry under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, unless the person is on the premises of a business described by Section 46.035(b)(1), Penal Code.
Because the code specifies “firearms” and doesn’t differentiate between pistols and longarms, all firearms except legally concealed pistols are barred from entering the building. OCT spoke with the TABC inspectors and was told that the code prevented firearms from even being in the parking lots, but as you can see here it only applies to the building itself.
If you go into a business and you see the following sign, please do NOT openly carry a firearm into the building. The business could lose its license and the owner could also be charged. These signs usually have the blue lettering while the 51% signs have the red lettering. While they don’t prevent YOU from going to the business, their license require that they ask you to leave.