AUSTIN, Texas (KWTX) - In his State of the State address last week, Gov. Greg Abbott said, “Texas must be a Second Amendment sanctuary state.”
Over the weekend, he reiterated this assertion on Twitter when he shared an article about a new federal gun bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, and said, “This is an example why I want to make Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State.”
“Really what we’re saying is that Texas will not expend any law enforcement resources to enforce federal gun laws,” said Emily Taylor, an independent program attorney at Texas LawShield.
“It’s a middle finger to the federal government,” she said.
Aligned with the governor’s position, state Rep. Steve Toth, R–The Woodlands, has filed House Bill 112.
It would ban law enforcement officers in Texas from enforcing federal gun laws that are stricter than state ones.
“However the problem with the Second Amendment sanctuary is we really don’t have that much control,” Taylor said.
“The federal government can send their own law enforcement bodies in to enforce gun laws,” she said.
“They also can use their purse strings to make us reverse course,” she added.
Taylor said she thinks Abbott’s positioning of the state as a sanctuary state is “largely symbolic” and “political.”
“I think he’d like to see a presidential run in 2024, and supporting guns is a wonderful way to get yourself there — you know, not just in Texas, but in the South and the Republican Party,” she said.
She said the “real fight” comes when states start challenging federal gun laws on constitutional and Second Amendment grounds.
So far this legislative session, lawmakers in both parties have filed more than 100 firearm-related bills.