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    Young County Judge John Bullock speaks about his position on the second amendment sanctuary county resolution during the Young County Commissioners Court Meeting Monday as Pct. 2 Commissioner Matt Pruitt listens. (Leader photo by Nathan Lawson)

Commissioners resolve Young County as a second amendment sanctuary

Despite contention on wording in the resolution, the Young County Commissioners Court unanimously resolved Young County as a second amendment sanctuary county Monday, Nov. 25.

The resolution states the commissioners court will not authorize or appropriate funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices to enforce laws which unconstitutionally infringe on the right of its citizens to own guns.

Precinct 1 Commissioner, Mike Sipes, who presented the resolution, said he was made aware of counties signing second amendment resolutions by a constituent on Nov. 14.

“The rhetoric being used in the current political atmosphere by some individuals has really prompted people to pay attention to their civil liberties and their civil rights.” Sipes said. “This is not so much about making Young County a second amendment sanctuary city, as it is to remind those that are in power elsewhere, other than this county, that people are very much concerned with the power that the government wields and arbitrarily taking possession without asking just through legislation and force.”

He said he provided the resolutions from Stephens and Throckmorton counties for Young County Judge John Bullock to review. Bullock then submitted them to General Counsel for Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association, Jim Allison, who made some suggested additions.

“I would suggest that we take out the addition of ‘had been declared by an appropriate court,’” Sipes said. “You guys know how long it takes something through the court system to get final decision on what it says or doesn’t say. Our sheriff or chief law enforcement officer certainly might need to act prior to the courts disposing of it.”

Bullock was in favor of the addition from Allison. The judge said the line only referenced laws that have already been declared unconstitutional and does not address any laws which are pending or in the future which rise to the level of being unconstitutional. He added he believed removing the line means the country would ignore the courts no matter if constitutional or not.

“When you reference sanctuary city and county, I believe public mindset goes to places like California and New York that is absolutely defying federal law and I don’t think we want to resolve to try and subvert federal law,” Bullock said. “I don’t think that serves any purpose at all and that’s kind of like saying we are going to observe the laws we want to and ignore the laws we don’t want to.”

Precinct 3 Commissioner Stacey Rogers said he agreed with Bullock and if Allison made the recommendation then the county should adhere to it.

Sipes said he believed the resolution was needed to state the citizens and county’s right to stand up against unconstitutional laws.

“I respect Jim Allison, but he’s an attorney and the people who would draft such legislation, I guarantee you, are attorneys also,” Sipes said.

The commissioner added he believes if someone tried to take another’s gun in Young County there would be acts of violence.

The resolution also states the commissioners court affirms it support for the elected sheriff of Young County, in the exercise of his sound discretion and supports his decisions to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms restrictions against any citizen.

“This does not bind or obligate the sheriff of Young County to do anything,” Sipes said. “This says that we will support his decision should a circumstance such as this come up. We are not usurping the power of the sheriff’s department at all, but saying that we do support him, if he should. In actuality, this is a feel good kind of resolution, but it’s a feel good resolution that is kind of like the ‘Come and Take it.’”

Sipes made the motion to adopt the resolution minus the line of ‘had been declared by an appropriate court’ and it was seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner Matt Pruitt. Wiley and Rogers also voted in favor of the motion.

For the full story, see the Saturday, Nov. 30 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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