FOX26HOUSTON - The Houston Zoo has removed signs banning weapons from the zoo's premises after being approched by the City of Houston to do so.
The zoo welcomed more than 200,000 school students on field trips and educational programs, along with many families everyday.
The Houston Zoo director Jackie Wallace released the following statement:
The Houston Zoo is proud to be a zoo-based conservation organization with a mission to provide a fun, unique, and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge, and care for the natural world. And since 1922, the zoo has been a gathering spot for children and families to engage with and learn about animals and the world around them. Just last year, the zoo welcomed more than 200,000 school children on official field trips and educational programs and is on-track to exceed that number in 2015.
As an educational attraction for so many children, teachers and families, the Houston Zoo has long-believed it was permitted to ban weapons from entering the zoo, and in accordance with Texas law, displayed statutorily-required signs communicating this ban, commonly called 30.06 signs, at both entrance gates.
On Sept. 10, 2015 the City of Houston asked our zoo to remove our 30.06 signage which bans guns from the zoo. This is because the land in which the zoo is operated independently on is, in fact, city-owned. While the zoo is currently investigating the legal implications of this request as it relates to the new and evolving law, we have complied with the city’s request and have removed our 30.06 signs from the entrances.
Effective immediately, the Houston Zoo will not ask anyone who is lawfully permitted to carry a concealed legal hand-gun to stow their weapon in their vehicle while visiting the zoo. 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.