“I don’t think this is really a controversial resolution. It is very, very, very similar to others being passed around the state,” said Commissioner Paul Perry after introducing the measure to the commissioners’ court in Ellis county.
While Commissioner Kyle Butler was absent from the meeting for the birth of a new grandchild, Judge Todd Little and Commissioners Randy Stinson, Lane Grayson, and Perry voted unanimously to declare Ellis County a “Second Amendment sanctuary county.”
The resolution stated that the county would not “authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers, or offices for the purpose of enforcing law that unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Similar resolutions have gained traction recently, especially in rural Texas counties, in light of increased discussion from elected officials about “red flag” laws, expanded background checks, and firearm confiscation.
Prior to the vote on Tuesday, the court listened to comments from concerned citizens. All but one speaker urged the commissioners to vote in favor of the resolution.
Amy Hedtke, the only citizen present cautioning against the measure, said that while the Second Amendment sanctuary resolution “has a lot of potential to be a great thing,” she is concerned that they are misleading.
“Ellis County will not be a ‘Second Amendment sanctuary county.’ You will still be enforcing current constitutional infringements under state and federal law,” said Hedtke. “Because if I want to exercise my inalienable right to carry a gun without license in violation of current constitutional state law, Ellis County will be no sanctuary for me.”
Rachel Malone of Gun Owners of America also spoke at the meeting, arguing in favor of the resolution.
Acknowledging Hedtke’s point that more specificity would be helpful, Malone added, “But this resolution does take a very important step of affirming that you understand the role of the county sheriff; you’ll have his back when he does his job.”
Ellis County becomes the eighth county in Texas to declare itself a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” Edwards, Hudspeth, Presidio, Mitchell, Hood, Parker, and Smith counties have also passed similar resolutions.
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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.