- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Sues Waller County Over Gun Ban.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Waller County over its ban on guns at its courthouse.
The suit, filed Monday afternoon in district court in Travis County, centers on a provision of Texas' new open-carry law, which took effect in January. The law, which allows Texans with licenses to openly carry handguns, has an exemption prohibiting firearms "on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court" unless a written regulation or the individual court authorizes it.
Paxton argues in the suit that the exemption does not apply to the courthouse in Waller County, northwest of Houston, because the building has non-judicial areas, such as the county clerk's office.
“A local government cannot be allowed to flout Texas’s licensed carry laws, or any state law, simply because it disagrees with the law or doesn’t feel like honoring it,” Paxton said in a statement Tuesday. “I will vigilantly protect and preserve the Second Amendment rights of Texans.”
- Texas Appealing Judge's Dismissal of Lawsuit over Syrian Refugees.
Texas is appealing the dismissal of its lawsuit against the federal government and a refugee resettlement agency over the placement of Syrian refugees in the state.In a notice dated Aug. 12, Texas alerted the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that it would appeal a June decision by Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David Godbey, who ruled the state did not have grounds to sue the federal government over the placement of refugees in Texas and that the state failed to provide a “plausible claim” that a refugee resettlement nonprofit breached its contract.
Representatives with the Texas attorney general’s office, which is representing the state in the lawsuit, declined to comment.
Texas first filed suit in December against the federal government and the International Rescue Committee — one of about 20 private nonprofits that have a state contract to resettle refugees in Texas — in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris that left 130 dead. Following those attacks, Texas’ Republican leaders raised concerns about the refugee vetting process, and Gov. Greg Abbott in November directed resettlement nonprofits in Texas to halt the resettlement of any Syrian refugees.