Court Security

Texas AG sues county that banned guns at building with courthouse, county offices

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Corrected: Waller County, Texas, must allow guns in areas of a courthouse building where county offices are located, according to a lawsuit filed this week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The suit (PDF) says Waller County’s policy conflicts with the state’s open carry law, which has an exemption for courts but not for local government offices, report the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Courthouse News Service and the Texas Tribune. Paxton announced the suit in a press release on Tuesday.

The law “does not allow a political subdivision of the state to prohibit licensed handgun holders from entering into an entire building simply because the courts or the offices of the courts are located in that multipurpose building,” the suit says.

The dustup began when a gun-rights activist complained about the building’s gun ban, and Waller County responded with a suit asking a court to declare that its policy complies with the law. Paxton sued after the county made clear it intended to pursue the lawsuit, according to Paxton’s suit.


Headline corrected at 3:40 p.m. to state that the Texas attorney general has filed the lawsuit.

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