In years past, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been a largely peaceful, fun, annual event in Texas. And every year, the question of whether or not it was legal to carry on the grounds has come up. There was a time when the HLSR didn’t seem to have an official policy on the issue. The law however, was generally clear.
If one were to enter, for example, the bull or bronco riding events, you are obviously at a “professional sporting event” and it would be illegal to carry on the premises of the event in which that was occurring. But if you’re just attending the carnival outside that event, concealed carry technically isn’t an issue. But in 2011, there was a shooting between “teens” on the carnival grounds. and a movement to ban guns entirely from the event gained steam. Fast forward to 2015 and there are now metal detectors at all HLSR entrances.
Unfortunately, the event is still far from secure. What takes place cannot even remotely be called a “search” or even light screening. Anyone so inclined, could still walk-in with a blade or even a gun. Anyone who intends to do others harm, will still do so. And a sure sign that the HLSR isn’t what it used to be is the latest kerfuffle…A student’s artwork has been rejected because it merely contained the image of a gun. This, from an organization that allegedly prides itself on celebrating cowboys and Texas culture…You’d think it was the Austin Livestock Show and Rodeo or something!