Texas Gov. Greg Abbott quietly approved the state’s new Constitutional Carry law on Wednesday, but he held an official signing ceremony for that measure and several others, including a Second Amendment Sanctuary law on Thursday at the Alamo in San Antonio.
One reporter asked if Abbott had moved the signing ceremony to San Antonio in light of the shooting in Austin last weekend that left more than a dozen people injured, but the governor dismissed the idea, saying instead that “I signed documents that instilled freedom in the Lone Star State and that’s what the Alamo represents.”
While most of the media attention has been on the Constitutional Carry law, the new Second Amendment Sanctuary Act may soon get some attention of its own from the Biden administration. As we reported on Wednesday morning, the Department of Justice has fired off a letter to Missouri Gov. Brad Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt declaring that the Show Me State’s new Second Amendment Preservation Act runs afoul of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and the law signed by Abbott on Thursday is substantially similar to the one signed by Parson last weekend.
Texas’ 2A Sanctuary law declares that state and local police “may not contract with or in any other manner provide assistance to a federal agency” in enforcing any federal statute, order, rule, or regulation that deals with federal gun registration or licensing; background checks on private transfers of firearms; or confiscating firearms from those not prohibited under Texas law from possessing them.
The law also declares that any state agency or political subdivision that cooperates with federal agencies in enforcing new gun control laws may lose state funding, and provides a mechanism for the state Attorney General to sue any locality or state agency that decides to ignore the Second Amendment Sanctuary Act.
The new 2A Sanctuary law was one of Gov. Abbott’s legislative priorities this session, and my guess is that both he and Attorney General Ken Paxton are relishing the prospect of the Biden administration challenging the law in court. As we explain on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, the new law is on solid legal ground, and existing Supreme Court precedent is on the side of Texas, Missouri, and other states like Oklahoma that have also approved Second Amendment Sanctuary laws this year.
Still, the Biden administration has been stymied in its push for new gun laws in Congress and pushing back against pro-Second Amendment states may be their best opportunity to demonstrate their fealty to the gun control movement, no matter the weakness of their legal arguments. If the top elected officials in Missouri have received a letter from the Department of Justice, my guess is that DOJ officials are already crafting a similar letter to send to Austin as well.
After all, the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement poses an existential threat to Biden’s anti-gun ideology. Even before Missouri and Texas approved their 2A Sanctuary laws, nearly half of all counties in the United States had already adopted resolutions or ordinances vowing not to enforce any new gun control laws coming from Washington, D.C., which means that any new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms are far more likely to be enforced in Democrat-controlled cities and states. That won’t satisfy gun control activists or anti-gun politicians, which leads me to believe that Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland will eventually sue states like Texas and Missouri over their newly-approved Second Amendment protections even if they’re unlikely to win a victory at the Supreme Court.
Those likely legal challenges are still in the future, however. Today is a day for gun owners to celebrate a great legislative session in the Lone Star State; one that resulted in the adoption of Constitutional Carry, Second Amendment Sanctuary language, and several other solid 2A laws that will help to ensure the right to keep and bear arms remains intact for decades to come. Congratulations to all the Texans who engaged with lawmakers over the past few months in support of their Second Amendment rights, and I hope you savor your legislative victories today.