Kenosha gun store sales
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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As we noted earlier this week, a number of stay-at-home orders that have been issued for the higher population counties in Texas have resulted in gun stores being shut down. In response to the closings, Texas Rep. Dustin Burrows requested a formal opinion on the counties’ authority to deprive Texans of access to firearms and ammunition during an emergency.

Paxton has just released an opinion letter (PDF) stating unequivocally that under the Texas preemption laws, counties do not have the right to order that gun stores be closed.

As Paxton wrote,

While the Legislature granted local officials certain emergency powers to address disaster situations, that local authority is not without limitation. Relevant to your question, provisions in the Local Government Code prohibit municipalities and counties from regulating, among other things, the transfer, possession, ownership, or sale of firearms, “notwithstanding any other law.” …

Any attempt to adopt or enforce an “ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy . . . , or an official action, including in any legislative, police power, or proprietary capacity” taken in violation of subsection 229.001(a) or 236.002(a) “is void.” TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE §§ 229.001(a-1), 236.002(b). The statutes’ unambiguous words disclose the Legislature’s intent: if a municipality or county adopts a regulation related to the transfer, possession, ownership or sale of firearms, that regulation will be void….

Texas law does give counties the authority to regulate the use of guns during an emergency to protect public health or safety. However . . .

Thus, municipal authority to regulate the use of firearms during a disaster does not grant authority to also regulate the transfer, possession, ownership or sale of firearms.

In other words, cities and counties can’t order gun stores to close their doors. Period.

You can read the entire letter here.


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  1. Would have been nice if he would have issued an opinion supporting concealed carry when the traitor Bonnen was blocking the bill from coming to the floor to be debated and voted into law. Govenor didn’t say anything either.

        “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

    • While I think Bonner (and Strauss before him) were grade-Z RINO scum, methinks you are off base here.

      TxAG opinions are the AG’s opinion of what the law *currently* is — not what he thinks it ought to be changed to. Ergo, even if Paxson was a huge fan of Constitutional Carry, that would not be the proper subject of an AG opinion.

    • None of this really surprises me. As others have noted, Texas is more hat than cattle. For instance say you pick up a six pack of beer at Walmart and then go to the gun display and handle / purchase a firearm. According to TABC you are committing a felony. After returning from Arizona, which is much better for gun rights BTW all the Walmarts had signs up covering open and concealed carry as open carry just passed. Basically stating firearms and alcohol are a felony. I of course called Texas Law Shield and they did indeed verify this. As to if anyone has been prosecuted for this I have no idea. All I can say is Jim’s, Whatabuger and Egg an I all lost my business in Texas. Ironically Egg and I in Arizona as well as Whatburger does not care if you open carry.

  2. Yeah, and regulating the *use* of guns does not include *carry*, which is not a use. Target practice would be a use, as would be using it to hammer in a nail, either one of which could be “regulated”, but the carrying of a gun to the point where it might be used can not.

  3. One would think in an emergency when cops are stretched thin or incapacitated you’d want people to be able to defend themselves. The left thinks this is silly, crazy, unnecessary, and not in their best interests. In that order.

    It’s harder to exercise control over people able to defend themselves. They might agree with what their overlords tell them to do. They definitely don’t have a lot of faith in the protection promised in return for obedience.

    Go through the aftermath of a cat 4 or higher hurricane when power, communication, water, and cop cars are completely unavailable. It turns into jungle real quick. Especially when you’ve got stuff someone else wants.

  4. These damn Carpet baggers from California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois etc., are all moving out of their crapped up states to cheaper locations to live because while they love all the crapped up stuff they voted for and still want they don’t want to pay the taxes to get it. So they move to places that have been properly governed and managed and are trying to push all that crap they loved from whence they came like gun control on those of us who have enjoyed unencumbered guns rights for years until these A-holes started showing up!!

    • My county just went purple for the first time in it’s history due to the influx of California economic refugees. This means they will be trying to flip our State Rep to Democrat. Our little area in Eastern and Southern Oregon can have a national negative effect if our Congressional Rep goes blue for the first time in history. All due to people fleeing the hell they created.

      • I,m a conservative who fled Illinois and I’ll bet Bill wouldn’t sat that to Keiths’ face.

    • Well said my friend, well said, We have the same problem here in FL. I’ve been here full time for 20 years and
      and was a snow bird since the 70″s. This state has gone to crap from other people moving here. and bringing their trash with them. trying to make this another NY or where ever they are from.

  5. Iowa law also prevents these types of actions. (724.28). As well preventing the Governor from stopping the operation of firearms dealers or the possession/carrying of firearms by lawful owners. (29C.25) Even during Declared Emergencies or Natural Disasters.
    There still some issues that We are working and have passed out of committee to the Senate. Having Representatives/Senators as a majority who understand that the 2nd A is a Right not a Privilege controlling the legislature and a Governor who agrees. Has helped to alleviate some of the passed transgressions placed upon lawful citizens of Our state. That’s why it is important to vote for Pro 2A candidates. Be Safe Maintain OP SEC and as always Keep Your Powder Dry.

    • “Do guns cause KungFlu?”

      Nope, but they’re a sure cure. Can’t have that in the USA, drug companies lose revenue!

  6. Does this mean gun stores will reopen in those and other counties? My county of San Patricio and surrounding (Nuecess/Aransas) aren’t big counties, but it looks to me as if most if not all are closed.

    • “Does this mean gun stores will reopen in those and other counties?”

      As I understand it (not being a lawyer like the esteemed LKB above), they cannot order them closed, but the stores themselves can close if they wish to.

      And some probably will, especially if the store staff has anyone in the high-risk category of pre-existing conditions…

  7. While I’m glad the AG released this opinion, practically it does not do much good as there aren’t that many guns to buy … forget about selecting the best fit for your hands. How much ammo can you get right now and at what price? I thank God He gave me the wisdom to buy the guns I need and enough ammo for them a long time ago.

    • “While I’m glad the AG released this opinion, practically it does not do much good as there aren’t that many guns to buy …”

      Buy them on one of the auction sites like gunlist, and have them shipped to your favorite FFL for transfer…

  8. The democRat Party can get the hell out of Texas. Includes you mark cuban you hilliary clintoon lintlicker.

  9. NH Gov Sununu backed his 2A constituency by stating gun stores can absolutely remain open for business.

  10. Come on people, all Keith was trying to say about the Carper Baggers was the liberal and anti-gunners create these large city urban cess-pools with their policies, etc. Then when everything turns to sh!t or they can’t afford the taxes that their little utopia programs create, they move to another more rural, more affordable area but just can’t stop themselves from doing their bullshit all over again in a new place!!

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