MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — Montgomery County is officially the state’s largest “gun sanctuary” county after a vote by commissioners Tuesday morning.
It joins 11 other counties and two cities in Texas with the same designation.
The measure, drafted by Commissioner Charlie Riley of Precinct 2, declared the county will not participate in restricting a person’s Second Amendment rights. It passed unanimously.
"We don't want any of our county funds spent confiscating guns or inventorying guns,” Commissioner Riley told KHOU before the vote. “We don't want any of our law enforcement people taken off the streets to do that. We want them doing the jobs they were sworn to do."
The vote followed testimony from supporters of the measure.
“Red flag laws are a violation of a constitutional right,” said one man in favor of the resolution.
“Don’t take away my right to own a weapon,” said a woman supporting it. “I need to protect myself. No one else will do it.”
Commissioners also heard from opponents.
“What you are not elected to do is pander for votes,” said one man, who told commissioners he is a veteran and a gun owner. “You are not elected to feed a narrative of fear and propaganda.”
“If it is important that you be kept away from violent criminals potentially with guns, then why are red flag laws unconstitutional to protect us?” asked one woman, after referencing the metal detectors outside the meeting room.
The vote came after speculation continues that the Texas House could blue, along with the recent tough talk on gun control nationally by Democrats.
“You can rest assured that the Michael Bloombergs of the world and the Beto O’Rourkes and others are not posturing when they tell you they’re coming after your firearms,” said Commissioner James Metts of Precinct 4.
KHOU Legal Analyst Gerald Treece says state and federal law overrides local law.
“(Commissioners) can do very little other than stand and say, ‘This is our political position, and no one will ever take our guns,’” said Treece. “That’s fine. That’s called free speech. On the other hand, if they start enforcing it to where it conflicts with state and local law, Montgomery County’s gonna have trouble.”
Treece says the federal government has a lot of power over money going to cities. He compared this situation to the issue of sanctuary cities for immigration.
“You can expect the feds to be all over this if (commissioners) try to go against federal gun law,” said Treece, expressing doubts commissioners would violate the law. “I think this is just a political statement.”
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