Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter warning city and county officials that they did not have the authority to shut down gun shops in Texas over the coronavirus pandemic.
"While the Legislature granted local officials certain emergency powers to address disaster situations, that local authority is not without limitation," read the letter sent on Friday.
Paxton outlined the Texas law that governed the power of local governments over firearms sales in his letter and came to a stern conclusion.
"Thus, although section 418.108 of the Government Code may generally allow municipal and county officials to 'control the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises' in a local disaster area, notwithstanding that general authority, emergency orders from local officials may not relate to the transfer, possession, ownership or sale of firearms," he wrote.
Paxton goes on to assert that local authorities do have the right to regulate use of firearms, but that does not extend to the sale or transfer of firearms.
This is in stark contrast to other states like California, where Los Angeles officials have ordered gun shops to shut down and the National Rifle Association has responded by filing a lawsuit to open them back up.
Nationally, there has been a skyrocketing demand for guns and many gun shops are reporting that they have never seen such a volume of interest and sales. Michael Cargill of Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, Texas, told KTBC-FOX7 that they have seen long lines waiting to get into their stores, and they have sold out of firearms.
Here's more about the coronavirus gun run:
Coronavirus causes spike in gun sales www.youtube.com