‘Tyrannical’ County Judge Trey Duhon filed suit against Pastor Terry Holcomb, Sr. over carrying guns inside the courthouse
Hemptstead – An aggressive open carry activist is looking to pack a Waller County District courtroom on Friday morning to test a 2015 law the Texas Attorney General says allows concealed carry licensees to carry handguns inside courthouses and city halls where judges hear cases.
Said Pastor Terry Holcombe, Sr., of the Waller County Judge, “He has attempted to bully and intimidate Texas citizens using the force of government to scare them into never complaining about their policies again. King Duhon sued me for exercising my right under the Texas Constitution by sending a letter redressing grievances of their no gun policy…If such behavior is allowed to go unchallenged, we as Texans will cease to have the right of redress of grievances of our own government due to fearing that very government will sue us.”
Equally aggressive Judge King Duhon pre-emptively filed suit on Pastor Holcombe of Texas Concealed Carry when he challenged the policy of not allowing handgun licensees to carry their weapons in parts of the building other than where court is held or court clerks keep their records.
The District Court will hear a motion at 10:30 to dismiss the suit brought by Pastor Holcombe – among others – based on the allegation that Waller County has no standing to bring suit as a civil matter.
The law in question, according to Holcombe and his attorney, is a Penal Code provision prescribing punishment for a third degree felony for anyone who violates it by carrying a firearm inside the court or its administrative offices.
The County Judge and attorneys for Waller County have countered by filing suit for declaratory relief and reasonable attorney fees by seeking a holding that the law as passed by the Legislature is intended to ban firearms from buildings where courts hold sessions entirely, not just in parts of the building where there are no courtrooms or court clerk offices.
At the heart of the dispute is a recent opinion of Attorney General Ken Paxton which interprets the new law as having teeth sharp enough to make Waller County face a “fine of up to $1,500 a day for the first violation and $10,500 a day for the second or subsequent violations. Further, sovereign immunity for this conduct by this state agency or political subdivision has been abolished by Texas Government Code Subsection 411.209(h), subjecting it to possible litigation to collect any assessed fines, court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, investigative costs, witness fees, and deposition costs,” according to a letter Holcombe sent Judge Duhon that touched the dispute off back in August.