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 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.
The right to defend yourself, your family, and your property is fundamental to all of the other rights we enjoy. It is beyond the purview of government to deny those rights which, by extensions, includes the right to keep, transfer, purchase, and sell lawful firearms for lawful purposes.
As long as I am your Attorney General, your rights will continue to be recognized and maintained.