Even as President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have vowed to push for new gun control measures, the Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has made it clear he’d endorse a bill that would transform the Lone Star State into what has been referred to as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary State.”
Abbott announced his support on the social media platform Twitter last week, posting, “A bill filed in the Texas House by Representative @JustinaHolland would make Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. It would forbid Texas state agencies & local governments from enforcing new federal gun laws or rules.”
Abbott’s support signaled a shift in his position on the issue of the Second Amendment. Following the 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, which claimed the lives of twenty-three individuals, the governor signaled openness towards some gun control measures.
Rep. Justin Holland, who represents the state’s District 33, retweeted Abbott and added, “Thank you for your continued support of our #2A rights Gov. We Texans refuse to let the out-of-touch policies from DC infringe upon our gun rights in Texas. Ever. Let’s ALL work together to get this through the finish line. God Bless Texas!”
Under House Bill 2622, “Texas state agencies and other political subdivisions would be prohibited from enforcing or providing assistance to federal agencies on any new federal laws, orders, rules or regulations on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition inside the state.”
The move to make Texas as Second Amendment Sanctuary State would be significant for supporters of the Second Amendment. As of January 2020, more than 400 municipalities in twenty states have become so-called Second Amendment Sanctuaries. The term “Second Amendment Sanctuary” is modeled on the concept of “sanctuary cities” that flourished in liberal communities that resisted immigration policies according to TheTrace.org, which created Bryan Kilber, state attorney in Effingham County, Illinois, who was credited with first applying the term to the gun control debate.
Even before Kilber coined the phrase, a few states and counties across the country had passed what would be now seen as gun sanctuary laws.
This is not a blue state vs. red state issue either.
There are more than 120 towns, cities and counties in Virginia alone where officials have voted that “unconstitutional” gun laws would not be enforced.
Across the country, many sheriffs have gone on record to say they won’t enforce specific gun safety laws or firearms confiscation statutes. Just this week Madison County, Idaho and the city of Caribou, Maine each voted in favor of becoming Second Amendment Sanctuaries.
“We’re already a Second Amendment sanctuary,” said Madison County Sheriff Rick Henry. “The whole state is.”
Across the country, Caribou has become the third municipality in Aroostook County and the fourth in Maine to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary City.
“What we’re saying is, when it comes to the grand scheme of things, coming in and taking our firearms, any sort of magazine restriction—we’re saying you can’t do it,” said Caribou Deputy Mayor Thomas Ayer.
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.