Order Prohibiting Weapons in Certain Affected Bell County Buildings

Following the issuance of two Attorney General Opinions (KP-0047 and KP-0049) regarding "The extent to which firearms may be excluded from buildings that contain courts, offices utilized by the courts, and other county officials" and "Questions regarding a notice prohibiting entry with a handgun onto certain premises," the Bell County Commissioners Court upon coordination with the District Attorney, County Attorney, Sheriff, District Judges, County Court at Law Judges and other officials issued the order linked below.

The Officials of Bell County recognize that its citizens have the right under the constitution and laws of the State of Texas to arm themselves, and they have the right to possess weapons in public buildings with the exception of those enumerated in Sec. 46.03 and Sec. 46.035 of the Texas Penal Code and as outlined in Attorney General Opinions KP-0047 and KP-0049, which includes areas identified as being essential to the operations of the courts.

Areas identified in written findings by the judges of those courts as essential to the operations of the court constitute a portion of the premises of a government court as defined by the Texas Penal Code.  As such, handguns are prohibited in those areas.

While the right of handguns license holders to carry handguns is supported, those involved in the judicial process, including judges, jurors, witnesses, parties, prosecutors, attorneys, and judicial personnel, have a right to safety and security.  The Order below addresses such safety and security.

Certain multi-use facilities such as the Historic Bell County Courthouse and buildings that do not contain courtrooms such as the Tax Assessor-Collector building will have no restrictions on the possession of weapons.

This Order is effective immediately.

Order Prohibiting Weapons in Certain Affected Bell County Buildings