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Texas Attorney General Sues North Texas Businesses, Including State Fair Of Texas

The suit alleges five businesses illegally barred police officers from carrying firearms

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton initiated five lawsuits against Texas businesses, alleging police officers were barred from carrying firearms on their premises. 

Paxton's lawsuits target The Factory in Deep Ellum (Dallas), Texas Trust CU Theatre (Grand Prairie), Meow Wolf (Grapevine), the State Fair of Texas and The Lucky Duck (San Antonio).

Allegations within the suits assert that these venues violated state regulations by prohibiting peace officers, both on and off-duty, from carrying their authorized firearms while entering the premises.

The suit alleges that from at least October 2022, the State Fair of Texas prohibited and restricted off-duty officers from entering its establishment with a weapon that such police officers were authorized to carry. The lawsuit claims that these occurrences also took place during the 2023 State Fair. Similar allegations were also noted from the other four establishments. 

“Texas law must be respected to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens,” Paxton said in a statement. “Criminal activity can occur at any time and any place. Peace officers are often well-positioned to prevent and suppress crime, even when they are out of uniform and off duty.”

The lawsuit notes that Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 2.1305, says that businesses open to the public such as restaurants, hotels, sports venues, arenas and amusement facilities, are liable to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each instance if they prohibit a peace officer from carrying their authorized firearm. 

According to the attorney general, despite obtaining written assurances from the five establishments that they would adhere to Texas law, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) continued to receive complaints from police officers alleging violations of the law by these businesses. 

“The Office of the Attorney General is committed to ensuring that our peace officers’ authority to carry their weapons while off duty is respected,” a statement from the OAG said. 

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