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Texas governor Greg Abbott has been reluctant to issue a state-wide stay-at-home order. As he pointed out in a press conference Monday, almost 200 of Texas’s 254 counties have yet to report a case of the Chinese coronavirus. So he’s left the decisions regarding lockdowns to each county.

That, however, has resulted in some counties — including Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — issuing orders that have resulted in gun stores and manufacturers being shuttered, which is contrary to the language of the Texas constitution.

Here’s a press release from the NSSF:

Many Texas counties and cities have issued “stay-at-home” orders to combat the spread of COVID-19. These orders direct all businesses not considered “essential” to close.  Some exceptions include liquor stores, dry cleaners, bicycle repair shops and hardware stores. Conspicuously excluded in all but one are firearm-related businesses.

This appears to be an intentional effort to restrict Texans’ constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms. It happened in the heart of Dallas as a historic and popular gun store was directed to close only hours after the Dallas County Order took effect. Other stores in Dallas closed after hearing of this directed closure.

Texas law is clear. The state statute preempting localities from adopting regulations exceeding state authority on gun sales reads:

A county order or regulation designed or enforced to effectively restrict or prohibit the manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer, or display of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is otherwise lawful in this state is void.  (A similar provision applies to municipalities.) 

Further, the Texas Constitution reads:

Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have the power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

State Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) requested Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) to issue an expedited opinion clarifying the proper role of cities and counties. Attorney General Paxton has had a steadfast record of objectively interpreting the letter of the law and defending the citizens’ firearms freedoms.

Members of the firearms industry in Texas should review the language of any order affecting their particular jurisdiction. This language, along with the foregoing provisions of the preemption law, should be considered when deciding whether to remain open.

Jurisdictions’ orders not classifying firearm-related businesses as “essential” include Dallas, Bexar, Harris and Travis Counties, as well as San Antonio, Fort Worth, Austin and Lubbock. Denton County is the exception, classifying “retail firearms sales” as Essential Critical Infrastructure.

NSSF® urges all members to closely follow CDC guidelines, practice social distancing and take precautions to protect the health of their employees and customers.

NSSF is working with state and local officials to ensure that this unfortunate chapter in Texas’ local government history is short-lived and not repeated.

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43 COMMENTS

  1. ” Never let a crisis go to waste “. People should be very careful who they vote for and please do vote.

    • 60M cases of swine flu and we didn’t do jack to shut anything down. This is purely a manufactured crisis to destroy Trump via destroying his economy, expand government power (see indefinite detentions, EARN IT act, etc), and to strike fear into the tax cattle.

      The WuFlu isn’t even statistically relevant compared to the seasonal flu. Pure media driven hysteria. So far, no cases in my area, and I’ve been running around business as usual. If it weren’t for the internet, media, or missing toilet paper, I wouldn’t even notice anything was amiss in the world. Traffic is still roaring, the sun is still burning, and earth is still spinning.

    • Don’t sweat it. Somewhere backin time we had some smart legislators who made it against the law to shut down gun stores in times of emergency in the Great State of Texas.

    • Dry cleaners are essential?? Can’t remember the last time I went to one. My husband rarely wears a suit. My wool coat is in the back of the closet. People are more casual now.

      • One of our two local dry cleaners has a sign posted at the (indefinitely closed) door saying they’re sadly not returning for business due to financial complications. They’ve been our preferred place to go for at least a dozen years.

      • Dry cleaning is essential.

        Ask the USMC about having their chucks fresh and pressed for duty. Although a lot of units use utilities now. Show up in a nasty uniform and see how well that goes over. 🙂

    • The booze thing actually kinda makes sense.

      They closed the liquor stores in Denver and then reopened them not because of the panic buying but because the doctors asked them to.

      Rehabs can’t deal with forced detox right now and the hospitals in the city fear being overwhelmed, they simply can’t handle an influx of people in the DT’s which can actually be lethal with alcohol.

      • seen some intentionally induced barbiturate comas round these parts. not pretty, but they all took the wakeup call. now that he’s sober my retired paramedic bud carries a fotay. weird. his wife went through the same ordeal. she’s on prescription skullsosoft now.

      • Wait until the supply of Chicom Fentanyl, meth, etc drys up. OR just gets crazy expensive and the local druggies need to raise some cash.

  2. In Collin County only “Essential Businesses” are allowed to be open. In Collin County “All Businesses Are Considered Essential”.

    • Most people in Collin County are covered by more restrictive orders promulgated by the city they live in. The county order really only applies to people in rural parts of the county.

      Funny Story: Frisco has to issue a second order that specifically made it clear that massage parlors were NOT essential businesses.

  3. I’m really tired of all these attempted abuses of our constitutional and civl right by those who can’t think beyond a defunct playbook. All over the country it keeps happening to test the peoples resolve. Just once I would love to see common sense prevail.
    Next calling this the Chinese Corona virus is really not helpfull on many levels, but mainly becouse if it did originate in the food market from livestock like has been the main opinions of so many, then there is a good chance that the animal that did pass it came from outside of China as many do. Not saying it didn’t come from domestic critters raised in the region as thats also a very good possibility too. Then there is allways a possibility that this is man made and it could be a production of many suspect countries targeting the best distribution point in the world due to the many people traveling to and from this region from all over the world. India and China has huge populations that will be in effect targeted due to the interactions, and this could go back and forth around the world in waves untill a vaccine is brought to bear. And this could very well be a pre-emptive move to track how such biological would travel and progress for a much more deadly virus strain
    I’m not trying to push any conspiracy theories our panics, just saying the possibility is there and this is a huge wake up call for all goverments to wake the f#@k up and be ready if does happen. And for populations to learn and build their education and tolerance to help each other and survive better, be more prepared in the future.
    We exist in a world that terorist will pay attention to this and what has happened, along with many goverments that have wrong attitudes towards many others and their populations.

    • ” … I’m not trying to push any conspiracy theories … ”

      Yes, you did. You had some good points to make but then you ruined it with conspiracy theory nonsense.

    • Gvmt sources say it originated from bats. Just regurgitating the party line.

    • It’s the CHICOM FLU. That you discovered this 3 weeks ago on CNN is sad. There was NO “animal” not Chinese involved and NO “wet market”. The CHICOMs inflicted this on the world thru incompetence or malfeasance. and must PAY. They should be begging for the deal the Germans got at Versailles

    • This has gotten to be the dumbest thing I have yet to read today. Are you trying to out do Powerserge, Chris in K T or I Haz A Question for stupidist post of the day?

      As the quote goes: DJU, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      • Please link to the comment I posted that prompted the “stupidest” declaration, and provide your own commentary for consideration.

        • You and me both, Boo. Seeing as how we all respect and admire his opinions.

    • It is being called the Chinese virus in retaliation for China stating the us military intentionally released it in Wuhan

    • Though many early cases, about 40%, were linked to the market it did not start there (it most likely did not get leaked from a lab either). The earliest confirmed cases were detected in the middle of November and it is speculated that it’s been circulating since at least Sept.

      The virus, while similar, probably did not come from bats. It is genetically closer to a virus carried by pangolins. Pangolin scales are used as an aphrodisiac.

  4. I’m quite certain the Galveston Co. Stay-at-home order neglected to include firearms dealers, manufacturers and retailers as “essential,” also.

  5. Honestly you should be avoiding gun shops like you should be avoiding all shops. If you weren’t prepared thats your fault and if you are prepared then just stop risking spreading the virus in public. This could be a non issue in a free society where gun could be shipped directly to someones house but we haven’t lived in a free country… ever.

  6. Sounds like butthead o’rouke strikers are showing their behinds and stinking up Texas.. Rest assured this Gun Control Manure is headed to court.

  7. Those Texas sub-governments who illegally ordered firearm businesses to shut down: sounds like a cut-and-dry, slam-dunk case of “Deprivation of rights under color of law”, a federal felony.

    This might be a lot less frequent if federal prosecutors would prosecute this much more frequently.

  8. Sheesh – NOTHING potentially adds fuel to ‘conspiracy’ theories – of any and all stripe – like not even getting basic FACTS correct. Examples: Ft. Worth is in TARRANT County, Austin is in TRAVIS County, San Antonio is in BEXAR County, and Houston is (mostly) in HARRIS County. But the writer at least got Big D correct (insert eye roll). The only place I planned on going to – besides my weekly medical appointment – was my local second hand book store which just relocated. Well that and visiting my favorite pizza buffet. They deliver 😉

    • Yessiree I’m south of Big D and darn it I can’t remember us not calling it Big D… wait a minute… come to think of it I first heard “Big D” from somebody who was from New York City and never heard it again until I met somebody from New Jersey… who the hell ever called Dallas anything other than an urban rathole?

    • I’m aware of the counties those cities are in. I live in Austin (Travis county).

      My intent above was to point out the major cities in those counties for people who don’t know that.

  9. Given the state of traffic in San Antonio this morning, the lockdown order meant “everybody get up and drive around”. Seriously, every store that has been open for the last week or so is still open (despite a lockdown which took effect last night). Nobody is respecting the lockdown order.

  10. Happy to say gun shops have been doing a land office business in the Alamo City all week. Lines out the door. Business is brisk.

    Me and mine are good on firearms and ammo. Just enjoying the floor show from a distance.

  11. According to this, no local government has the right to issue a ‘stay at home’ order, interfere with my going to church, or assembling in public. I never expected this sh*t outside of Austin.

    THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION

    ARTICLE 1. BILL OF RIGHTS

    Sec. 6. FREEDOM OF WORSHIP. All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.

    Sec. 6. FREEDOM OF WORSHIP. All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.

    Sec. 27. RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY; PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES. The citizens shall have the right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good; and apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.

    Sec. 28. SUSPENSION OF LAWS. No power of suspending laws in this State shall be exercised except by the Legislature.

    Sec. 29. BILL OF RIGHTS EXCEPTED FROM POWERS OF GOVERNMENT AND INVIOLATE. To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this “Bill of Rights” is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.

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