Sec. 411.209. WRONGFUL EXCLUSION OF CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE HOLDER. (a) A state agency or a political subdivision of the state may not provide notice by a communication described by Section 30.06, Penal Code, or by any sign expressly referring to that law or to a concealed handgun license, that a license holder carrying a handgun under the authority of this subchapter is prohibited from entering or remaining on a premises or other place owned or leased by the governmental entity unless license holders are prohibited from carrying a handgun on the premises or other place by Section 46.03 or 46.035, Penal Code.
(b) A state agency or a political subdivision of the state that violates Subsection (a) is liable for a civil penalty of:
(1) not less than $1,000 and not more than $1,500 for the first violation; and
(2) not less than $10,000 and not more than $10,500 for the second or a subsequent violation.
(c) Each day of a continuing violation of Subsection (a) constitutes a separate violation.
(d) A citizen of this state or a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun under this subchapter may file a complaint with the attorney general that a state agency or political subdivision is in violation of Subsection (a) if the citizen or person provides the agency or subdivision a written notice that describes the violation and specific location of the sign found to be in violation and the agency or subdivision does not cure the violation before the end of the third business day after the date of receiving the written notice. A complaint filed under this subsection must include evidence of the violation and a copy of the written notice.
(e) A civil penalty collected by the attorney general under this section shall be deposited to the credit of the compensation to victims of crime fund established under Subchapter B, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure.
(f) Before a suit may be brought against a state agency or a political subdivision of the state for a violation of Subsection (a), the attorney general must investigate the complaint to determine whether legal action is warranted. If legal action is warranted, the attorney general must give the chief administrative officer of the agency or political subdivision charged with the violation a written notice that:
(1) describes the violation and specific location of the sign found to be in violation;
(2) states the amount of the proposed penalty for the violation; and
(3) gives the agency or political subdivision 15 days from receipt of the notice to remove the sign and cure the violation to avoid the penalty, unless the agency or political subdivision was found liable by a court for previously violating Subsection (a).
(g) If the attorney general determines that legal action is warranted and that the state agency or political subdivision has not cured the violation within the 15-day period provided by Subsection (f)(3), the attorney general or the appropriate county or district attorney may sue to collect the civil penalty provided by Subsection (b). The attorney general may also file a petition for a writ of mandamus or apply for other appropriate equitable relief. A suit or petition under this subsection may be filed in a district court in Travis County or in a county in which the principal office of the state agency or political subdivision is located. The attorney general may recover reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining relief under this subsection, including court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, investigative costs, witness fees, and deposition costs.
(h) Sovereign immunity to suit is waived and abolished to the extent of liability created by this section.
Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 593 (S.B. 273), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.
Last modified: September 28, 2016