Several Texans Have Complained To The Texas Attorney General About The Rodeo’s Gun Ban

Some of them think it should only apply to the events taking place inside NRG Stadium.

Some Texans who disagree with the Houston Rodeo's decision to ban guns from this year's event have gone all the way to Austin with their grievances.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has received seven complaints about the Rodeo's ban on guns.

One of them was filed by David Koenig, a 43 year-old Houston resident who works in marketing.

Koenig says Texas' law bans open carry at sporting events.

So, in that sense, he doesn't have a problem with the prohibition of guns at NRG Stadium because it holds professional sporting events, in this case, the rodeo competitions.

However, Koenig thinks the ban should only apply inside the stadium.

"I don’t think it’s right that Harris County is allowing the Rodeo to prohibit lawful activity. It’s about doing what’s right," says Koenig.

Klaiton Hartman, a 38 year-old who works repairing equipment for oil fields and lives in Brazoria County, also filed a complaint with Ken Paxton's office.

Like Koenig, Hartman thinks the Rodeo has the right to prohibit guns at NRG Stadium.

But he says he should be allowed to carry his firearm everywhere else as a licensed gun owner.

"They should apply the law evenly to big corporations, you know, such as the Rodeo, or to the City of Houston, whoever is violating these laws just as they would apply laws to individual citizens like myself," Hartman notes.

However, Rodeo officials have said that they are a private organization and that gives them the right to prohibit guns at the event.

When asked to comment on the complaints, Rodeo President and CEO Joel Cowley declined to be interviewed.

In a statement, he pointed out that the Texas Penal Code prohibits the carrying of handguns in any place that holds activities sponsored by a school or an educational institution.

Cowley stressed the Rodeo's mission statement explicitly refers to education as one of its primary functions.

Seth Kretzer, a Houston-based attorney who has reviewed the Open Carry law, sides with those who are complaining because he also interprets it as only applying to NRG Stadium.

"I don’t think an actual reading of the text would encompass the entire stadium complex as a building," says Kretzer.

In a statement, the Attorney General's office said they are reviewing the complaints to determine a proper course of action.

See the seven complaints that have been filed with the Texas Attorney General's office due to the Houston Rodeo's on guns below:

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