To local governments…citizens’ gun rights are beyond your authority.

March 31, 2020

I was recently contacted by State Representative Dustin Burrows (R-HD83) concerning the legality of efforts by some municipalities and counties within Texas to restrict the sale of firearms as part of their power under local emergency declarations such as the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Texas law is very clear on this point.

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.

As I said in the legal opinion issued in response to Representative Burrow’s request, state law provides several emergency powers to local governments to control movement within their region during a … continue reading

A Stern Warning from the Attorney General

March 21, 2020

In this extraordinary time in our history, it is essential that the bodies of government function to serve the needs of the people of Texas and the United States.

My role as your Attorney General, is, first and foremost, to ensure that the fear and uncertainty accompanying this unprecedented event does not incentivize those who would seek to prey on consumers in order to enrich themselves.

My office has communicated this fact consistently to retails, wholesalers, and individuals that sell necessary goods and services.

State law strictly prohibits price gouging and other forms of disaster scams in the wake of a disaster declared by either the Governor or the President. These laws apply to any person or entity selling necessities … continue reading

Protecting Texans from Price Gouging Amid COVID-19 Threat

March 13, 2020

Today, Governor Abbott issued a “state of disaster” declaration in response to the real and growing threat of the coronavirus.

This declaration makes it a crime to price gouge during such period as the state of disaster remains in effect.

As Texans take precautions against exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and prepare for the possibility of self-quarantine if affected, it is the role of the Attorney General’s office to assure that scammers and unscrupulous vendors do not take advantage of the public’s concern in order to unlawfully enrich themselves.

Any person or business selling goods must be aware that they are prohibited by law from engaging in price gouging if they unreasonably raise the cost of necessary supplies at any point … continue reading