Abiding by new state gun legislation, major Texas psychiatric hospitals will be allowing visitors to carry firearms.

Not to be confused with recent laws that made Texas an open-carry state, the legislation here went into effect in September 2015, looked upon as an enforcement of a 2003 law that stated licensed gun holders were allowed to carry their firearms on any property owned by the state or local governments.  State psychiatric hospitals were previously allowed to forbid the carrying of firearms with signage dating back several years, however the new legislation would penalize state establishments for prohibiting the carrying of firearms.

Though unable to prohibit the carrying of firearms within the hospitals, the hospitals will be posting signs asking gun owners to conceal their weapons or leave their weapons in their vehicles.  The new legislation however didn't change the previous exemptions, allowing schools, courts, and jails to continue to ban the carrying of firearms.  State hospitals licensed under Chapter 241 of the state Health and Safety Code are also listed as an exempt facility.  However, state psychiatric hospitals do not fall under Chapter 241 jurisdiction.

Beth Mitchell of the mental health advocacy group Advocacy Inc. called the allowing of firearms in psychiatric hospitals a bad idea that makes no sense,

I don't know who concocted this idea, who though this would be a rational policy for the state of Texas.  It's only going to create fear among the patients themselves.

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