The Houston Zoo used to ban guns inside the premises, but now the facility has been forced to allow firearms.
The Houston Zoo is privately owned, but sits on public property, and a gun rights lawyer pointed out that this meant the company doesn’t have the right to ban guns. Now, the “No Guns” sign has been taken down, and zoo-goers have mixed feelings about it.
“Why would you want to bring a gun to the zoo?” asked Damian Manuel. “I mean, that’s kind of crazy.”
Many have been shaken up by the removal of the “No Guns” sign and some are now threatening to stop visiting the zoo.
“I probably won’t be coming here anymore, but probably bad for them,” said Anna Runge.
Some patrons felt the “No Guns” was the only line of defense for keeping out deranged gunmen and worry the lack of restriction equates to open season.
“You just never know these days,” said Felicia Manuel. “I’d feel safer going somewhere where it’s restricted, but what can you do?”
But not everyone was opposed to the change. Chrissy Richey thinks if you’re a licensed concealed carrier, you should be able to carry where you want, including the zoo.
“If you have the right to carry, you should be able to carry,” said Richey. “That’ my opinion. Everyone should be safe. If you think carrying a gun makes you safe.”
The Houston Zoo released an official statement, which reads in part, “Effective immediately, the Houston Zoo will not ask anyone who is lawfully permitted to carry a concealed legal handgun to stow their weapon in their vehicle while visiting the zoon. We do recognize that this has the potential to confuse or concern our guests and members and we want to emphasize that this will not alter our number-one priority, which is the safety of our guests, employees, and animals.”
(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)