Apartment complexes display signs banning open carry

Zach Lyons

Residential complexes near campus have put out signs banning open carry firearms on their properties. 

House Bill 910, which became law Jan. 1, allows concealed carry license holders to openly carry their firearms. A provision of the law amended section 30.07 of the Texas Penal Code, making it a criminal offense to openly carry on a property which has posted a sign banning open carry in accordance with the code. Since the bill went into effect, a handful of apartment buildings near campus, including ones run by Rainer Management and Marquis Management, have posted signs prohibiting open carry on their properties. 

Cody Bradford, a UT alumnus and real estate agent with Twelve Rivers Management, said there’s a clear legal reason for landlords and owners to consider adding such bans. Bradford said property owners are liable for anything that happens on their property and they often add firearm storage restrictions or bans to a renter’s lease. 

“People have their right to bear arms,” Bradford said, “But at the same time, their rights are restricted when they’re legally obligating themselves to a property.”

Humans relations sophomore Zachary Long said he understands people’s concerns, but he thinks the open carry law could have a positive effect.

“I do understand where people are coming from saying that [the law] not safe because [guns] could accidentally discharge or get into the hands of someone who shouldn’t have [them],” Long said, “But at the other side, it’s in the hands of people who have gone through training, who have gotten a license to openly carry. I just think that we could prevent crimes.”

Still, Long said, it’s within the prerogative of the complexes to turn away open carriers.

“While I fundamentally disagree with why they’re saying ‘no, you can’t carry it in there,’ I understand that is within their rights to be able to say that,” Long said.

Advertising junior Brooks Anderson said that a complex’s decision on open carry doesn’t really make him feel more or less safe, and wouldn’t dissuade him from living there.

“Seeing a sign saying they were banning open carry wouldn’t really change my opinion either way,” Anderson said. “I know there’s probably gonna be people in some apartments who have [guns], but I don’t know if they necessarily open carry.”

Representatives of Marquis Management declined to comment, and those from Rainer Management were unavailable at press time.