The City of Austin is denying citizens’ rights at city hall, but a court may now restore justice.

The city is facing a lawsuit after they repeatedly blocked a resident from entering city hall because of his licensed concealed handgun in 2016. After the citizen complained, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the city for defying state law and denying the citizens’ right to carry.

“The city of Austin cannot defy Texas’ licensed carry laws, or any state law enacted by the Texas Legislature, simply because it disagrees with the law or feels like ignoring it,” said Paxton in a press release.

During a trial this week, Paxton’s lawyers asked a Travis County district court to restore residents’ right to lawfully carry firearms in city hall, a right state law protects.

“I will always vigilantly protect and preserve the Second Amendment rights of Texans,” said Paxton, “And I’m hopeful the Travis County district court will uphold Texas’ open carry law passed by the people’s representatives.”

In regards to the lawsuit, Austin could face punishment for infringing on the citizen’s rights: state law allows for a $1,500 daily fine for blocking licensed citizens from entering city hall with their permitted handguns. According to Paxton’s press release, the city has been barring the resident for more than 500 days, and the attorney general’s team asked the court to impose a total fine of over $750,000.

This means that, because of city hall’s reckless decision to deny a citizen’s right, hard-working Austinites may now be needlessly charged almost $1 million.

The case awaits further action in Travis County.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.