Gun rights group tells Dallas Zoo to drop gun ban

The Dallas Zoo is gun free, but a gun rights group wants to change that.

Signs posted at the entrance to the zoo say that even if you're licensed to carry a concealed weapon, you can't bring it in, and the zoo doesn't plan to change that policy.

A Houston-based group is taking on the zoo, saying that the signs forbidding firearms are illegal because of new handgun laws in Texas.

The Dallas Zoo didn't talk to FOX 4 on camera on Tuesday, but says it's exempt because it's an amusement park and an educational institution.

The Houston-based firearms legal defense program, Texas Law Shield, adamantly disagrees.

"This idea that they're an educational institution is completely ridiculous,” said Edwin Walker with Texas Law Shield.

Walker says the Dallas Zoo also doesn't meet the rules for an amusement park.

Texas Law Shield wants the zoo to take down signs that say guns are not allowed.

The land is owned by the City of Dallas, but the zoo is privately operated.

Walker says that argument didn't stand up for the Houston Zoo, which has taken down all of its signs prohibiting firearms after Walker and his group complained.

The group has also sent the Dallas Zoo a written complaint. If they don't comply, the complaint can be forwarded to the state attorney general.

If the attorney general goes against the zoo, there could be heavy fines.

“Fifteen hundred dollars for the first incident and then $10,500 a day for all subsequent incidents,” said Walker.

People are full of questions.

"I understand people's rights and wanting to express those rights,” said mom Stephanie Sloser. “But at the same time, how are you going to police something like that, whether it's extra security?”

“Whenever I take the kids anywhere, it's in the back of my mind,” said dad Eric Hansen. “A sign isn't going to sway me one way or the other whether I'm going to go and enjoy a day at the zoo or not. It doesn't matter to me all that much."

Several people FOX 4 spoke to said they’re willing to accept the new gun laws; they're just waiting to see how this plays out and they still don't want guns where their kids might be.

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