The Lone Star State could become the eleventh so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” state, and that could impact President Joe Biden’s gun control agenda.
Second Amendment Sanctuary (SAS) or gun sanctuary states – as well as counties and even local municipalities – are those that have adopted laws or resolutions that oppose or even prohibit/impede the enforcement of certain gun control measures by the state or federal government.
The proponents of such “sanctuary” laws have argued that many gun control resolutions are in violation of the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. It was Carroll County, Maryland that was the first to explicitly use the term “sanctuary” in a resolution in May 2013, and to date, there are about 1,200 local governments in forty-two states that have adopted such resolutions.
It began when some counties were in conflict with Democratic-run state legislatures over the issue of the Second Amendment.
Moreover, while it still tends to be more of a “red state” or Republican-leaning issue, the movement has taken hold in some “blue states” – notably in less populated counties in New Mexico as well as some rural counties of Oregon and Washington.
A Second Amendment Sanctuary: A Growing Movement
Texas has several counties that already support sanctuary movements, but the Lone Star State could soon join ranks with Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The movement is clearly gaining traction as six of those states became Second Amendment Sanctuaries. Four of the states – Alaska, Idaho, Kansas and Wyoming – all passed gun protection laws during the Obama administration.
“Biden is threatening our 2nd Amendment rights,” Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott wrote on Twitter. “He just announced a new liberal power grab to take away our guns. We will NOT allow this in TX. It’s time to get legislation making TX a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State passed and to my desk for signing.”
The Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act passed the Texas State House in Austin in late April along party lines. If it is enacted, it would authorize the withholding of state funds from any localities that try to assist with the enforcement of certain federal gun laws. This could include background checks, licensing programs, “red flag laws” and even buy-back programs.
However, there remains no standard on what an SAS actually means or does. The efforts in Nebraska and North Dakota for example have been described as largely symbolic gestures, whereas the Montana law prohibits the enforcement of any federal ban on ammunition or firearms and could likely include any federal “assault weapon ban.” Arizona also prohibits local authorities from enforcing federal gun laws that are deemed inconsistent with state gun laws.
With more communities and now states standing behind the Second Amendment, it seems unlikely Biden’s gun control agenda will make little progress.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.