The following article was written by Rachel Malone, Texas Director, Gun Owners of America (GOA).

Last week, the Texas House passed HB2622 by Holland and the Senate passed SB513 by Hall. Both of these bills contain language that is now being called “Second Amendment Sanctuary”—although the concept is not new. We have been testifying on similar bills (under different nicknames) in Texas since 2013.

Now, each bill will be sent to the other chamber.

You can CLICK HERE to see the comparison of SB513 (as amended) and HB2622.

2A Sanctuary Legislation: What Is It, Really?

We have worked all session to remind you of the nature of a Second Amendment Sanctuary bill.

This legislation is generally intended to keep Texas from being complicit in future Federal gun-control schemes.

It obviously has limitations:

  • It does not stop our state or local government from infringing on our gun rights
  • It does not do anything to curb existing infringements (federal, state, or local)
  • It does not stop the Federal government from enforcing its own laws

It simply says that our state people and resources will not be used to help the Federal government enforce their laws that don’t exist in Texas law.

Most bills do not contain any individual criminal penalty for officers who violate it. Instead, they prohibit state and local entities from enforcing the laws, they remove funding from entities that violate this law, and they provide a way for the Attorney General to enforce this law through court action.

SB513, however, does contain an individual criminal penalty.

SB513 As amended In the Senate

There has been a lot of controversy over an amended draft offered by Senator Hall to his sanctuary bill, Senate Bill 513. It removes the individual criminal penalty for officers who are participating in a joint task force.

As frequently happens, there are no perfect solutions. We—and Senator Hall—would have preferred the original version of Hall’s bill—without the federal/state task force exception. However, we also prefer for a bill to pass and give us some protection instead of having no related bills even get through committee—as has been the case since 2013.

So the question becomes whether the task force exception is so wide that a bill containing it is worse than nothing. The answer: definitely not.

The bill still has all the enforcement mechanisms that most of the other 2A Sanctuary bills have. It still prohibits all enforcement of Federal gun-grab laws that don’t exist in our state laws—including on joint task forces. It would still remove funding from entities that participate in this enforcement, including District Attorney offices, public universities, and law enforcement agencies. And it still provides a mechanism for Attorney General enforcement.

And take into consideration that the result of doing nothing may be that there are no limits on the use of federal and state law enforcement resources to enforce the most extreme items of Biden’s gun control agenda.

It may also be possible to plant our marker—and try to improve upon it the next session.

And, finally, although we do not believe Biden can override this prohibition MERELY by asking the state for help, it may be possible to tweak the language by, for instance, require the task force be established by rule or regulation and have been in existence prior to Biden’s inauguration—or perhaps otherwise.

HB2622 as Passed By the House

As you can see in our side-by-side comparison, HB2622 never had an individual criminal penalty at all.

It also includes a troublesome, vague exception clause:

It says that the entire bill’s prohibition “does not apply to a contract or agreement to provide assistance in the enforcement of a federal statute order, rule, or regulation in effect on January 19, 2021.”

This is vague and could be taken to mean either that it’s fine for entities to enforce any Federal firearms-related law in effect on 1/19/21, OR that it’s fine for entities to enforce any Federal firearms-related laws, including future laws, as long as the entity had some kind of agreement in place on 1/19/21 that they would help enforce laws.

Of course, we would hope that a court would never construe it to mean that pre-existing agreements give clearance for enforcing any future Federal gun-grab laws. But we’d rather that the language be clarified and strengthened.

Take Action!

Call your State Representative and State Senator. Tell them that you want Texas to pass Second Amendment Sanctuary legislation to take a stand against future Federal gun-grab laws.

And tell them that you want no exceptions, no outs, no compromises.

Although there are some in both the House and Senate who will stand strong and continue fighting for our rights no matter what—including Senator Hall, who has been a champion in the Senate for all of our pro-gun priorities—it takes the votes of a majority (or sometimes more) in order to get this legislation to the floor and get it passed. Please reach out to your State legislators today!

Find the Capitol Office info of your State Senator and State Representative here.

This article was originally published at TexasGunOwners.org.


Concordia res parvae crescunt


Small things grow great by concord...

Tenth Amendment Center


"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."


FOLLOW US

Get in Touch

9 + 4 =


MAIL:
PO BOX 13458
Los Angeles, CA 90013


PHONE:
213.935.0553

The 10th Amendment

“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.”

LEARN MORE

01

Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles

02

Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog

03

State of the Nullification Movement

108 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report

01

Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty

02

maharrey minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens.

maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues – history, and application today

TENTHER ESSENTIALS

Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!

JOIN TAC

01

The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose – the “Foundation of the Constitution.”

10th Amendment

03

Nullification

Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history – and today.

nullification