Three of the four Democratic commissioners that were present at the meeting today, along with the judge, voted unanimously to pass the resolution submitted by residents of the western border county.
The resolution, as read by the judge at the meeting, states:
“Be it resolved that the people of Presidio County…. hereby designate Presidio County a Second Amendment sanctuary in order to preserve for the people of, on, and in Presidio County their rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. Furthermore, any regulation that violates the Second, Ninth, Tenth, or Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America shall be regarded by the people of Presidio County to be unconstitutional and therefore by necessity unenforceable and invalid….We the people of Presidio County through this resolution hereby declare our rights, our freedom, and our liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Although Presidio County has a small population—just a little over 7,000—about 70 residents showed up at the meeting today in support of the resolution.
Even the Presidio County sheriff was among the supporters.
According to Teresa Beckmeyer of Gun Owners of America, the measure was initiated and led by concerned ranchers in the county.
One resident who argued for the resolution at the meeting said that in recent years, the influx of illegal immigration has had visible effects on the community. “We have a creek a few hundred yards from our home that drugs are being run down,” she said, adding, “Two of our close neighbors have been broken into.”
Since the area is so rural, supporters point out that some police officers could take up to an hour to respond to a 911 call. In such a place, owning a gun is the most reliable means of self-defense.
Beckmeyer said that with an increase in the amount of legislative proposals to restrict Second Amendment rights, the residents wanted some way to protect their rights to keep and bear arms without interference by the state or federal government.
Calling the county a Second Amendment “sanctuary” is reminiscent of the rise of “sanctuary cities,” where local governments refuse to enforce or comply with federal immigration laws.
Earlier this year, the city of Waskom in east Texas declared itself a sanctuary city for the unborn.
Unlike sanctuary cities, though, the so-called “Second Amendment sanctuary” of Presidio County is not trying to challenge any existing gun laws. Rather, according to Beckmeyer, it is a way of guarding against any future measures that might conflict with the residents’ rights to bear arms as recognized by both the U.S. and Texas constitutions.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.