West Texas Counties, Under Siege, Declare Second Amendment Sanctuaries

Vast Presidio County, ground zero for the ongoing illegal migrant invasion, is the newest to declare a resolution.

Published Saturday, July 20, 2019 1:00 pm
Gun Rights Watch article by Gun Rights Watch - Chief Editor

West Texas 2A Sanctuary map

Hudspeth County

In March, the Texas county of Hudspeth on the Mexico border passed a resolution to declare itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. The resolution was the brainchild of Sheriff Arvin West himself, who made comments at the time to media sources that he knows the role of the office of Sheriff and that he felt it was his duty to protect his county's citizens from federal intrusion and overreach.

Sherrif West declared that he wants to stop the gradual loss of freedoms slowly being enacted by the federal government and wants to take actions to protect the Second Amendment before that overreach comes for it, too. This move is a preemptive one to help prevent any sort of federal confiscation of firearms if it ever comes to that.

Though Hudspeth County is poor, he made the decision to refuse federal funds for equipment for border security because those funds came with strings attached.

The Hudspeth County resolution that was passed is below:

RESOLUTION DECLARING HUDSPETH COUNTY TO BE A SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY COUNTY

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Hudspeth County Commissioners to declare its support of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution protecting citizens inalienable and individual right to keep and bear arms; and, 

WHEREAS, the members of Hudspeth County Commissioners took an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Texas and laws of the State of Texas (insofar as they are constitutional), and, 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Commissioners of the County of Hudspeth by the authority granted to the Commissioners by the laws of the State of Texas and people of Hudspeth County, Texas to stand and defend their rights and liberties, which are guaranteed by the United States and Texas Constitutions, we hereby declare this Resolution as follows: 

Second Amendment Preservation Resolution Designating Hudspeth County a Second Amendment “Sanctuary County”

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Commissioners Court affirms its support for the duly elected Sheriff of Hudspeth County, Texas in the exercise of his sound discretion and affirms its resolve to support decisions by our Sheriff to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms against: any citizen.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Commissioners Court will 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.

Presidio County

The influx of uninvited unlawful migrants flooding southern Texas, along with a rise in crime reports of home invasions and drug smuggling operations, has caused four Democrat commissioners to vote to make the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary. Fearing a loss of self-defense rights from watching events unfold in other states, residents have plenty to be concerned about.

Numerous homes and businesses in the area have seen trespassers, invasions, destruction of property, theft, and scary confrontations. Multiple residents at the July 10th board meeting related reports of their run-ins with the roaming groups and all voiced their concerns and pleas for protection from the county's legislative body. 

The tiny Commissioner's courtroom in Marfa, the seat of Presidio County, was filled to overcapacity as ranchers and residents jammed in trying to get seats. As some stood in the hall, they patiently listened to almost two hours of debate about what the resulting proclamation would look like and the message it would send. No county in Texas has ever taken this step and the commissioners were keenly aware of that as they wrote the resolution.

As we've come to expect though, some commissioners did have issues with the language in the resolution. County Judge Cinderela Guevara complained that some passages were questionable and could be legally problematic for the county in future as she began pointing out several areas that she was most concerned about.

Stricken sections of the resolution include these following paragraphs in the resolution: 

  • A passage that read that county leaders would regard  “any regulation that violates the Second, Ninth, Tenth or Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution” to be unconstitutional “and therefore by necessity, unenforceable and invalid.
    This passage was changed to simply read, "any regulation that violates the Bill of Rights” to be unconstitutional “and therefore by necessity, unenforceable and invalid."
  • “The criminal misuse of firearms is due to the fact that criminals do not obey laws and this is no reason to abridge an unalienable, constitutionally guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens. Criminals will always possess firearms regardless of any laws restricting their use and the People [sic] must have the means to protect their lives and property…”
  • “The last protectors of the United States Constitution are the County Sheriffs and “We The People of the United States of America” and our ability to fulfill that role successfully rest on our Second Amendment rights.”
  • “The Presidio Government will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of any element of such acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules  or regulations, that infringe on the right of the People [sic] to keep and bear arms.”

Stripped of what the commissioners considered to be the most worrisome language, county leaders then adopted the resolution. At this point, the room erupted in loud cheering and congratulatory handshakes.

The Presidio County resolution that was passed is below:

RESOLUTION DECLARING PRESIDIO COUNTY 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 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 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 Presidio County, through their duly elected Commissioners Court, Judge  and Sheriff, 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 Bill of Rights 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, furthermore

We, the People of Presidio County, Texas, through this resolution hereby declare our rights, our freedom and our liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Jeff Davis County

On Monday, August 12th, the Jeff Davis County Commissioners will meet and vote on whether to make the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary. Odds look good for the resolution to pass, with only 4 commissioners to convince to get it on the books.

At nearly twice the size of Rhode Island, Jeff Davis is a very sparsely populated county of just over 2,000 people and the only one in America that touches a foreign country on one corner.