Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement on today’s decision by the Travis County District Court that the City of Austin violated Texas law when it refused to allow duly-licensed residents to lawfully carry firearms in City Hall. The court also ordered the city to pay a fine to the state of Texas for each day it prevented investigators from the office of the Attorney General from lawfully carrying firearms.
“The district court’s ruling preserves and protects the Second Amendment rights of Texans and sends a strong message to the city of Austin that they are bound by the same laws as all other Texans. The city of Austin cannot violate the open carry law or any other law the Texas Legislature has enacted simply because they disagree with it,” Attorney General Paxton said. “If the city of Austin appeals the district court’s decision, my office will continue to strongly defend the right of law-abiding Texans to keep and bear arms in accordance with our handgun laws.”
In July 2016, Attorney General Paxton filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin after a resident with a concealed gun permit complained of being turned away from City Hall on several occasions. Today, the Travis County District Court agreed with the attorney general’s office that the city violated the open carry law and should be fined for each day it prevented the attorney general’s investigators from lawfully carrying, resulting in a $9,000 fine.
During a trial in Travis County District Court earlier this month, a legal team for Attorney General Paxton’s office successfully argued that Texas law prohibits the City of Austin from restricting lawful citizens from carrying concealed weapons at Austin City Hall.