Texans ‘retain right’ to purchase firearms during COVID-19 outbreak, AG Paxton says

Coronavirus
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes comments during a news conference in Dallas (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes comments during a news conference in Dallas (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a legal opinion Friday about the sale of firearms in Texas counties and municipalities, and how it relates to recent stay-at-home orders issued due to COVID-19.

It reads, in part, that local regulation of gun sales is strictly prohibited under Texas law.

State law provides several emergency powers to local governments to control movement within their region during a disaster, which serves our communities well during public health events like the one we’re fighting now. However, local regulation of the sale, possession, and ownership of firearms is specifically prohibited under Texas law. Under our laws, every Texan retains their right to purchase and possess firearms.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Paxton issued the opinion at the request of Rep. Dustin Burrows, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.

That means gun stores have to remain open for business under the current COVID-19 stay-at-home orders issued by cities and counties.

“Under the Texas Local Government code, municipal governments possess the limited authority to regulate the use of firearms during a disaster; however, that authority does not extend to the regulation of transfer, possession, ownership or sale of firearms,” Paxton said.

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