UPDATED December 2 to include additional Collin County pledge signers and add to the list of counties adopting resolutions.
Collin is now the largest Texas county to affirm the rights of law-abiding gun owners against threats of unconstitutional confiscation, joining at least 20 other counties across the state in the growing nationwide movement.
Collin County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a resolution Monday reaffirming support for the Second Amendment as part of a broader restatement of their oaths of office. The sheriff and other county officials are also signing on to the document.
“Every elected official in Texas takes an oath of office—Democrats, Republicans, nonpartisans … to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state,” County Judge Chris Hill said at Monday’s meeting.
Hill said citizens called on Collin County officials to say if they will keep their oaths or side with taking firearms from lawful citizens by fiat.
“We live by the rule of law, not by the rule of feelings,” Hill said. “We have today, on the national scene, partisans … liberal Democrats like Mr. O’Rourke, who declare openly they want to take and confiscate firearms from lawful citizens … by executive fiat … he would just decide to take our liberty.”
A handful of residents spoke against the resolution, calling it “divisive” and expressing fear of gun violence. Others said they found the commissioners’ statement reassuring, though it carries no legal force.
“Our position is that the liberties in the U.S. Constitution mean something, and the oath of office I took means something,” Hill said. “It is not divisive; it is simply our statement.”
“Constitutional liberties are secured for all people regardless of how you feel,” Hill added. “This resolution is our opportunity to declare that we will stand by our oaths of office. It’s a line in the sand.”
Commissioners Cheryl Williams, Susan Fletcher, Darrell Hale, and Duncan Webb all agreed, noting the resolution simply reiterates the oaths of office each has taken multiple times before.
Sheriff Jim Skinner and over a dozen other county officials also signed the pledge, including District Attorney Greg Willis; District Clerk Lynne Finley; County Clerk Stacey Kemp; County Court at Law Judges Dan Wilson and Lance Baxter; Tax Assessor-Collector Ken Maun; Justices of the Peace Paul Raleeh, Mike Missildine, and Jerry Shaffer; and Constables Shane Williams, Gary Edwards, Sammy Knapp, and Joe Wright. More are expected to add their names.
Following a lackluster session in which the Texas Legislature failed to pass meaningful laws protecting the rights of gun owners, conservative Texans in more than 20 counties statewide have urged local officials to pass Second Amendment “sanctuary” resolutions. They are part of a growing nationwide movement defending citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms against unconstitutional confiscation threats—from “red-flag” laws that allow authorities to disregard due process and take firearms from people the government deems dangerous, to sweeping gun-grabbing schemes proposed by far-left Democrats like failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.
Hill said Collin officials intentionally avoided using the word “sanctuary” in their resolution.
“Leftists have long used the terms ‘sanctuary city,’ ‘sanctuary county,’ and even ‘sanctuary state’ to declare their disregard for and disobedience to laws they don’t like,” Hill said in an email to constituents Saturday. “By contrast, we declare our support for the laws of our state and nation, and our commitment to those liberties endowed by our Creator and enshrined in our Constitution.”
Collin is Texas’ sixth-largest county, with over 1.1 million residents. Last week Montgomery County, home to nearly 600,000 residents, also unanimously passed a statement of support for the Second Amendment.
Eastland and Erath county commissioners adopted similar resolutions on Monday. Fannin and Cherokee followed suit Tuesday, bringing the known number of self-declared Second Amendment counties to 21: Hudspeth, Edwards, Mitchell, Presidio, Hood, Parker, Smith, Ellis, Kaufman, Nolan, Stephens, Throckmorton, Palo Pinto, Upshur, Montgomery, Wood, Eastland, Erath, Collin, Fannin and Cherokee.
Collin County’s resolution reaffirming support for the Second Amendment states:
WHEREAS, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and
WHEREAS, for the benefit and protection of all people, these unalienable rights are enumerated and enshrined in the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Texas; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, we hereby reaffirm our sacred oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Texas. So help us God.