Hood County, Texas, Sheriff Roger Deeds has proposed the creation of a “gun sanctuary county” policy by refusing to enforce any new federal gun control.
According to WFAA, Deeds said: “My message to the people of Hood County is I’m not going to stand by and allow anybody, if it’s the federal government or whoever, stating that they’re going to take away people’s rifles. That’s not going to happen,” Deeds said. “It can’t happen under the constitution of the United States the way it’s wrote anyway.”
Deeds said he would craft the proposal into an ordinance or a resolution. “I’ll meet with the county attorney and we’ll see how it needs to exactly read,” he said.
Earlier this year, a similar proposal was made at the state level when Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) filed SB378 prohibiting any state government agency, personnel or public funds from enforcing any federal gun control regulation or law “if the federal statute, order, rule, or regulation or international law imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation, such as a capacity, size, or configuration limitation, that does not exist under the laws of this state.” However, the bill did not pass.
Deeds said residents ask, “Are you going to work with the feds to take my AR-15?” He went on: “We’re not going to do that.”
In contrast to gun rights advocates who insist on placing their hope in D.C. bureaucrats and politicians, Deeds’ strategy is realistic, practical and championed by the founders. The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, local governments can nullify in effect many federal actions. Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from the states, including city and county governments.
It was an approach successfully employed by abolitionists in northern states after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. Also, marijuana is legal in many states today even though it is still technically prohibited by the feds. That came about due to grassroots resistance that made such policies untenable.
In a televised discussion on the issue, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano noted that a single state taking this step would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.
“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control schemes, the states can effectively bring them down.”
The proposal also rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842.
Even if Deeds’ plan doesn’t get approved, it shows local elected officials there aren’t waiting for the right people to “drain the swamp.”