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Houston Church and Business, Represented By Everytown Law, Challenge Texas Law Intended To Punish Business Owners That Want To Keep Guns Off Their Property

Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church, et al. v. Paxton, et al.


Key Points

  1. If a Texas property owner chooses to keep firearms off their property, they must put up at least three different signs to do so -- one for concealed carry of handguns; one for open carry of handguns; and another for long guns -- measuring multiple square feet.

  2. By contrast, many states require a single sticker or sign with a simple picture that measures just a few inches in each direction

  3. Texas’ signage law includes several arbitrary requirements, -- such as letter-size -- that also make it difficult, if not impossible, to print the signs at home. And unlike other state-mandated signs, the signs under the laws being challenged are not provided for free by any state agency.

A Houston church and a local business have brought a legal challenge to a state law making it burdensome to prohibit firearms from private Texas properties, arguing that the state’s onerous and costly signage requirements for private properties seeking to prohibit guns infringe on their First Amendment right to free speech. Everytown Law and the law firm Jones Day represent the plaintiffs.

“The intent of the Texas signage law is to punish people who have a certain viewpoint, and that is not allowed under the U.S. Constitution,” said Alla Lefkowitz, Senior Director of Affirmative Litigation at Everytown Law. “There is absolutely no evidence that requiring property owners to put up multiple large signs on the front of their property announcing that they do not allow guns–each required to meet a myriad of arbitrary standards–is tied to any legitimate governmental need. The goal of this law is to be as burdensome as possible.” 

Case Documents


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