Gun law raises concern in Texas probation offices

Probation department directors across the state are asking for the attorney general's opinion to prohibit weapons in their offices


By Krista M. Torralva
Corpus Christi Caller-Times

CORPUS CHRISTI — One of the state's new weapons laws has probation officials worried about safety in their offices.

Probation department directors across the state are asking for the attorney general's opinion to prohibit weapons in their offices, the Nueces County Community Supervision and Corrections Department interim director recently told state district judges.

The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 273 earlier this year restricting state agencies that prohibit handgun license holders from bringing their firearms on the property. Judicial offices still can prohibit weapons. Probation officials aren't sure whether their offices are allowed to prevent guns, interim director Judy Randolph said, including three local offices — on Gollihar Road, Trojan Drive and in Robstown.

Offenders reporting to the probation office are typically prohibited from having weapons as part of their probation conditions, but they sometimes have family with them. And it isn't uncommon to have opposing gang members in the waiting room at the same time, Randolph said.

"We just don't know what's going to happen. It could be a volatile situation," she said.

Probation directors are looking for temporary fixes, such as creating a judge's office within their office, so they can be considered judicial offices, Randolph said. The law goes into effect Sept. 1.

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