Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fort Worth Stock Show

This past weekend V and I went to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. This is an event that I really enjoy attending. While growing up I raised hogs and showed them in the 4H and FFA. I even had a Champion at the California Mid-Winter Fair.

Well guess what? This year they made the decision to post signage in accordance with Texas PC §30.06. For you non Texans, this means that a CHL holder would be in violation of criminal trespass if they carried past the gate.

Here is a copy of the letter I wrote:

The Stock Show is one of the annual events that I really look forward to attending each and every year. I enjoy the livestock, the vendors, the food, the people and the general atmosphere of the show.

This year, something was different. This year the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo management decided that you did not want me to attend the show.

This past Saturday was the first time my wife and I could make it this year. The weather was beautiful, and we were really looking forward to an afternoon wandering the Stock Show grounds. You can not imagine my surprise, and disappointment, at finding the entrance posted in accordance with Texas PC §30.06. With that simple sign you placed an imaginary line on the ground. On one side of the line, I am an upright citizen of the United States and the State of Texas, on the other side of the line I am a criminal.

I am not a criminal, I am a law abiding citizen of these United States, and so I did not enter the grounds carrying my sidearm. But you know what? The only people who that sign will deter are the law abiding, the folks who have passed multiple background checks and have been issued a Texas CHL.

Your sign does nothing to deter the criminal. An individual who is already carrying a firearm illegally will not pay attention to that sign. As a matter of fact, they will not even be breaking criminal trespass laws as 30.06 only pertains to the CHL holder.

Do you realize that CHL holders go through more in-depth background checks than the police officers who you allow to be armed on the grounds?

Do you realize that as a group, CHL holders are more law abiding than the armed police you allow on the grounds?

Have you looked into the demographics of your average CHL holder? Do you know our average income, home owner status, or credit score?

I thought not.

Posting the Stock Show IAW PC §30.06 is lawful, but it is immoral. Denying the basic human right to protect oneself and one's family with the most efficient tool available is unconscionable, especially in light of the numerous random acts of violence that seem to occur on a routine basis.

I ask that you revisit your decision to post signage IAW PC §30.06 prior to next years show. If not, you may want to advertise the fact that you are posted early on as a large percentage of the folks you want to attract to the show are the folks who take the time to get a CHL.

Thank you for your time.

Think it will do any good?


Texas gun nut said...

I hope so, that precludes me from going as well. There is no way I will set foot in downtown Cowtown if I cannot carry legally.

I must say that this simply amazes me, that they have the chutzpah to tell us CHL holders to go pound sand.

James in Texas

phlegmfatale said...

I hope it does some good, but despite the traditions of rodeo/stock show, Fort Worth is very arty and politically correct. There should be a groundswell of protest to these idiotic policies, especially as more casualties pile up as a result of people not being allowed to defend themselves.

Fits said...

If it makes you feel better then its doing a lot of good, and a fine first step towards devoting some time and effort into overturning those ridiculous 30.06 signs. Never ceases to amaze me that Texas of all places would have such a law.

JT said...

If there's one thing that those folks are likely to listen to, it's their wallet. It may not take by the very next year, but if they notice a significant revenue hit, they might be persuaded to change their policy the following year.

Randy said...

Doesn't that then obligate them to protect you, since they are removing your means of protecting yourself?

I'm still waiting for a lawsuit like that from the mall shooting.

BobG said...

What they need is to get a deluge of letters like yours to get someone thinking about loss of revenue.

Just John said...

Your letter is well written; clear and to the point. It will, therefor, be ignored. That's how things like this usually work.

Perhaps if you told them how "insensitive" they were, or that they were failing to be "inclusive," they would listen. Gotta throw as many of their favorite buzzwords in there as you can!

Anonymous said...

Maybe a lot of media attention might get them to notice this folly. Also it might not hurt to start contacting our elected officials in Austin to make a new law that says unless you can prove what good it will do to dis-arm the lawfully armed then a business or other entity must provide metal detectors and full time security /police to escort everyone while on premises including to and from their vehicles.

Texas gun nut said...

Another thing I just remembered,
can't we carry at the State Fair? The last time I was there, CHL holders could lawfully carry, but had to come in through a separate entrance than the general public.

One would think if you could carry at a large event such as the State Fair, then lawful concealed carry should be a non-issue at something like the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Well, at least it shouldn't be an issue, IMO. Maybe I missed something.

James in Texas

TXDIVER said...

May I copy/paste portions of your letter for reference?

I would like to hand deliver a letter to the FWSS&R offices this week. I do quite a bit of business with them and would love to put a letter directly in the hands of a decision maker.

TXDIVER said...

Just to offer a little clarification...FWSS&R is not in the Stockyards, or Downtown..

It is located just north of I-30 on University. Will Rodgers Coliseum is the "Base of Operations" for the show grounds.

Texas gun nut said...

Thank you TXDiver, for your clarification, I was wrong as to the location on both counts.

I had assumed that it was at the Stockyards, which I remembered being downtown, last time I went, but now I realize my error.

JR said...

txdiver, no problem. Copy all that suits you. I go to Will Rogers for quite a few events. I would very much like to know what response you get.

TX gun nut - Yes, we can carry at the State Fair. You would think that CHL at the Stock Show would be a non issue, esp. since a majority of those pick up trucks pulling stock trailers had a firearm or two stashed in a readily available location.

I know of a few others who have written letters, and the next time I get to talk with James Dark, I'll find out why the TSRA has not yet gotten involved with this.

Anon - That is pretty much the way CO law is written.

I really appreciate all the comments to this post. I will keep you up to date with any response from the Stock Show.

Oh, Fits... Getting rid of 30.06 has moved way up on my priority list. We have to fix employeer parking lot carry first.

Eric said...

Texas statute forbids, with few exceptions, state/county/city governments from banning CHL holders because they have a concealed weapon, and 30.06 signs are invalid even if posted. Stock shows are not among the exceptions.

I cannot tell from the website ( http://www.fwstockshowrodeo.com/ ) who owns the grounds upon which the show occurs. I found a couple references, thus:

"Since moving to the Center, Stock Show policy has been to deed to the City any improvements."

"All profits are either returned to the City in the form of facility improvements..."

which suggest that the grounds may be city property.

Over at TexasCHLforum.com, at least one member argues that when a city leases grounds to a private entity, the lease also essentially transfers ownership to the private entity, and the statutory prohibition against city governments no longer applies. Most of us think this is nonsense, but there has been no resolution of this. The American Airlines Center in Dallas is city-owned, but has claimed via signage and correspondance with one of the TexasCHLforum.com members that they can ban whoever the want. So far no one has actively pushed them on this.

I believe dealing with restrictions like this are one the burner for the 2009 legislature, but in the meantime, if you are gungho, perhaps you can determine if the show grounds are city or county property, and if so, file an open records request demanding all the supporting documentation that led to the posting of the 30.06 signs. Could be there isn't any legal basis for it.

Oh, one other thought -- if the ag univerities have programs that occur on the show grounds, there may be a legal basis for banning CHL'ers... universities, unfortunately, are one of the exceptions to the statutory permission to carry on governmental property.



Anonymous said...

There is one other problem here. Carry at professional sporting events is also illegal. Rodeos that have prize money are professional sporting events.

Unless there is a designation between going to the stock show and going to the rodeo, they'll say it's off-limits to CHL'ers because of the professional sporting event. Now if there are separate tickets for the rodeo than for the stock show (like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo: those tickets designate whether they're for the stock show only or for the rodeo, too), that argument wouldn't fly.

JR said...

Eric; Thanks for your reply. Hopefully we can convince them to drop the signage without bringing the lawyers into it.

Anon; The Stock Show is seperate from the Rodeo. Stock Show tickets will not get you in to the rodeo.