“One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

These words are part of a proposed resolution by the city of Big Spring, Texas, declaring the city to be a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary city as it pertains to “Red Flag” laws and gun confiscation. The resolution was posted on the Facebook page of their mayor, Shannon Thomason.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the geographical area, Big Spring is located roughly 50 miles from the Midland/Odessa area where a gunman went on a shooting spree the Saturday before Labor Day. 

We have seen numerous police chiefs and sheriffs step up and refuse to enforce any of the new gun-control laws sweeping the country until the Supreme Court rules on them. Thomason is one of the first politicians we have seen do so.

In fact, we recently learned of one Texas mayor trying to disband his city’s police department. The city is looking to contract for law enforcement services with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department.

The city council voted 3-2 to give the mayor the go-ahead to move forward with getting a proposal from the county. He believes initial numbers show it could save the city upwards of $200,000 a year.

The final decision, he said, would involve at least two public meetings and a vote of the city council.

Some sheriffs in several conservative Washington counties have refused to enforce the state’s sweeping restrictions on semi-automatic rifles until the courts decide whether they are constitutional, reported Fox News.

The measure raised the minimum age for buying semi-automatic firearms from 18 to 21, requires buyers to first pass a safety course and added expanded background checks and gun storage requirements. As a result, the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing the measure is unconstitutional.

Due to the pending litigation, sheriffs in twelve, mostly rural, counties have decided to take a “wait and see” posture. They will not enforce the law until the courts decide on the challenge. The counties include Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Cowlitz, Douglas, Benton, Pacific, Stevens, Yakima, Wahkiakum, Mason and Klickitat. Moreover, the police chief of Republic, Loren Culp, followed the sheriffs’ route.

“I swore an oath to defend our citizens and their constitutionally protected rights,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones told the Associated Press. “I do not believe the popular vote overrules that.”

The measure was highly unpopular in some regions. Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers said 75 percent of voters in his county voted against the bill and called the new rules unenforceable.

I reached out to a handful of officers in Texas regarding Governor Abbott potentially signing Red Flag statutes in law. If Texas was a red flag state, would you enforce it?

One police chief I spoke with said this:

“If I was a Sheriff, I would have a completely different answer to this scenario. Sheriffs, as elected officials, have a little more leeway than I do. As the Chief of Police, I must answer to the city manager.”

He said an order from the city would change things.

“If this law were passed in Texas and the city manager told me that we are going to enforce it, then that’s what we would do. But for now, without a search warrant or exigent circumstances, we are not simply walking into someone’s house and taking their firearms. and even with a search warrant, we aren’t taking firearms that they are legally in possession of.” 

In a twist of irony, many of the sheriffs we have seen taking a stand said that they would wait to see how the Supreme Court would rule. Thomason’s proclamation shows what they have already ruled. Thomason points to legal precedents as well as identifying the area of our Bill of Rights that governs such things.

The proclamation touched on the 1st, 2nd and 14th Amendments, Miranda vs Arizona (1966), DC vs. Heller 2008), US versus Miller (1939) and McDonald vs. City of Chicago (2010).

These references not only spell out our constitutionally protected rights, but also shows how the Supreme Court has ruled.

Hats off to Mayor Thomason. Thank you for standing for what is right.

The proclamation is listed below in its entirety.

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This is the proposed draft of the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution for the city of Big Spring.

RESOLUTION DECLARING BIG SPRING, TEXAS A SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY

Whereas, the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of our nation, and

The Second Amendment to the Constitution states “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”, and

The U.S. Supreme Court found in Miranda v. Arizona (1966) that “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”, and

The U. S. Supreme Court in the District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) decision affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not connected in any way to service in a militia, and

The U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Miller (1939) stated that firearms that are part of ordinary military equipment with use that could contribute to the common defense are protected by the Second Amendment, and

The U. S. Supreme Court in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943) stated “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”, and

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution states “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”, and

The U.S. Supreme Court in the McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) decision affirmed that a person’s Second Amendment rights to “keep and bear arms” is further secured by the “due process” and the “privileges and immunities” clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision also protects rights closely related to the Second Amendment, namely the right to manufacture, transfer, purchase, and sell firearms, accessories, and ammunition, and

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.”, and

The U.S. Supreme Court found in Printz v. United States (1997) that the Federal government cannot compel law enforcement officers of the States to enforce federal laws as it would increase the power of the Federal government far beyond that which the Constitution intends, and

The Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 23 states “Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State”, and due to the dual sovereignty structure of the Constitution, the Federal government has no authority to enforce state laws and States cannot be compelled to enforce federal laws, and

The last protectors of the U.S. Constitution are the County Sheriffs and “We The People of the United States of America” and our ability to fulfill that role successfully rests on our Second Amendment rights.

Therefore, Be It Resolved, the People of Big Spring, Texas, through their duly elected Mayor and City Council, hereby designate Big Spring, Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary in order to preserve for the People of, on, and in Big Spring, their rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America, furthermore

We are reminded of the statement made by the Texas Declaration of Independence when acts “demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our defense, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments.”

Any regulation that violates the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States of America shall be regarded by the People of Big Spring, Texas to be unconstitutional, and therefore by necessity, unenforceable and invalid, furthermore

Examples of such regulations include, but are not limited to, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives Document 83 FR 66514 effective March 26, 2019 amending 27 CFR 447, 27 CFR 448, and 27 CFR 449 (classifying certain gun stocks as machine guns), and a series of Executive Orders issued by the Governor of Texas on September 5, 2019 by which could be deprived of their rightful property without due process of law deprived of the right to face an accuser, therefore

We, the People of Big Spring, Texas, through this resolution hereby declare our rights, our freedom and our liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and determination to preserve the same for ourselves and future generations.

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