Another Second Amendment sanctuary county... in Texas?

We’ve covered a number of sanctuary county and sanctuary city stories here involving local governments deciding to not enforce various gun control laws imposed by the state. But most of them are more conservative, rural locales in blue states. This latest tale comes with a bit of a twist. It’s in Texas. Last I checked, the Lone Star State was not only rejecting stricter gun control laws but loosening them up even further. Still, the Sheriff of Hood County, Texas is looking at moving forward with just such a plan for his home turf. (Newsweek)

Sheriff Roger Deeds of Hood County, Texas, has proposed turning his jurisdiction into a “sanctuary county” that would ignore any new gun laws introduced by the federal government.

This means the district will not spend money or resources enforcing federal laws Deeds believes are an infringement of residents’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

“We’re not going to be messing with the Second Amendment,” the sheriff told audiences at a campaign forum last week.

If his plans go ahead, Hood County will become the latest of a number of rural counties refusing to comply with federal or state-wide regulations on gun ownership.

So on the surface, it sounds like Sheriff Deeds isn’t aiming his ire at the state government, but rather preparing to defy any new federal gun control laws that come down from Washington. In some regards, I suppose that makes sense (at least to the Sheriff). He’s unlikely to be hit with any bad news on Second Amendment rights from the office of Governor Abbott.

Or maybe this is more of a political maneuver. Local news reports indicate that Deeds is up for reelection next year and he’s staving off a challenge from somebody who is even more pro-gun than he is. Perhaps a combination of both?

I remain conflicted about these Second Amendment sanctuary movements. I’ve never supported the idea of sanctuary cities and states defying federal immigration law and confounding the efforts of immigration enforcement agencies. Federal law is supreme in that regard. So turning around and saying it’s just fine for officials like Sheriff Deeds to do the same, even in support of a policy I personally approve of seems clearly hypocritical.

But at the same time, most of the sanctuary cities and states defying immigration laws seem to be getting away with it and attempts to punish them from the federal level are frequently shot down in the courts. Is this just a case of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander? If they can do it, why can’t we?

Perhaps it’s not a matter of can we, but… should we? If we’re going to start allowing state, county and municipal governments just start flipping the bird to Washington and doing as they please, what laws will be ignored next? It seems like a dangerous precedent to set. Personally, I’d rather see resources going toward continuing to fight to bring the sanctuary cities to heel on immigration and winning the debate on the sanctity of the Second Amendment in the legislature and in our courts.

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Jazz Shaw 5:01 PM on March 22, 2023