Houston Matters

Waller County and AG’s Office Go Head-to-Head Over Open Carry In Court Offices

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently filed a lawsuit against Waller County over signs that ban firearms posted in its multipurpose county courthouse in Hempstead. The suit centers on an exemption in the state’s open carry law that prohibits firearms “on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court.” In a […]

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently filed a lawsuit against Waller County over signs that ban firearms posted in its multipurpose county courthouse in Hempstead. The suit centers on an exemption in the state's open carry law that prohibits firearms "on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court."

In a recent statement, Attorney General Paxton says the state’s licensed carry laws “allow government entities to exclude handguns from the portion of a building that houses an office utilized by a government court,” and that county treasurers' offices and county elections offices do not qualify.

The attorney general filed a similar lawsuit against Austin over its ban on guns in its city hall.

We discuss the issue with Brantley Starr, the attorney general's deputy chief of staff, andElton Mathis, criminal district attorney for Waller County.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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