Abbott on virus restrictions: 'No one should forfeit their liberty and be sent to jail for not wearing a mask'

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joined "Hannity" Wednesday to discuss the case of Dallas hair salon owner Shelley Luther, who was sentenced to seven days in jail Tuesday for operating her business in defiance of a local coronavirus lockdown order.

"There is [a balance that needs to be struck], Sean, and that is why we are now in Texas opening up things like hair salons and barbershops," Abbott told host Sean Hannity. "But Sean, you need to know this: The problem that we're dealing with is far worse than what you've articulated in Dallas County."

DALLAS SALON OWNER WHO REOPENED DESPITE CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS GETS 7 DAYS IN JAIL

Dallas County Judge Eric Moye offered Luther the opportunity to avoid jail time if she apologized for being "selfish," paid a fine and shut her doors until Friday, when salons are permitted to resume business.

"I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I'm selfish, because feeding my kids is not selfish," Luther told Moye in response. "I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they would rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I am not going to shut the salon."

Abbott told Hannity that Luther's case is not the only example of local government overreach in Texas.

"The Dallas County district attorney announced a policy that he is not going to prosecute any thief who steals things valued at less than $750," he said. "At the same time, authorities in Dallas are talking about releasing inmates from prison or jail because of the possibility of contracting COVID-19."

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The governor said he's also made it clear that people can't be sent to jail for not wearing a mask, an issue that recently came up in Harris County, where Houston is located.

"They were issuing fines and potential jail time for anybody who refused to wear a mask," Abbott said. "Now, as you pointed out, wearing a mask is the best practice. However, no one should forfeit their liberty and be sent to jail for not wearing a mask."

Fox News' Nick Givas contributed to this article.