CONROE, Texas - On Tuesday, with unanimous approval, Montgomery County commissioners got behind Commissioner Charlie Riley’s resolution to declare the County a “Gun Sanctuary.” This makes it the largest, by population, in Texas.
The resolution passed at the Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday morning.
Montgomery County is the largest county in Texas, by population, to become a gun sanctuary county.
According to Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, who wrote the resolution, the purpose is to maintain the freedom to keep and bear firearms as stated in the United States and Texas constitutions without legal ramifications.
Riley believes the measure sends a message that county resources will not be if the federal or state government placed restrictions on second amendment rights.
“[It] let’s people in Montgomery County know that we’ve got their back that if something like that were to come down -- that we’re going to resist that type of activity,” he told FOX 26.
Most of the public comment at the meeting was in support of the resolution.
“I have a family of two, a wife and child, that I have to protect,” said Mark Anthony Garza wearing a second amendment badge.
Riley understands the resolution is not legislation and local law enforcement would enact any kind of move to confiscate guns, if that ever were to happen.
“I’m certainly not trying to put the law enforcement or anybody in any kind of -- telling them they have to do something,” Riley said. “What I would think [is if] that were to come down, I think the public would be the most resistant.”
Those who oppose the resolution believe it has no teeth but the message it sends is dangerous.
“As a citizen I am concerned as far as the proliferation of guns. I also believe that it’s significant overreach as far as in part of the county,” said Warren Bell, a 15-year resident of Montgomery County.
“I value life and I see guns as weapons of murder,” said Valerie Martin, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and Montgomery County resident.
The chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party believes the resolution is political pandering.
“Specifically, the base that Charlie Riley thinks he needs to fend off a challenge in the 2022 election,” Marc Meyer stated.
Commissioner Riley hopes more counties follow suit.
“We do not want to waste the resources of any law enforcement entity by allowing them to be put in the position of possibly needing to collect and account for any and all firearms that are in the limits of Montgomery County Texas,” stated Commissioner Riley. “The individual has the right to protect themselves, their property and family from the element of society that misuse firearms illegally and to know that this county’s law enforcement resources are allowed to serve and protect rather than be counting bullets and barrels. The County won’t use any of its resources to enforce unconstitutional gun laws.”
The measure is restricted only by individuals who have been convicted of a crime that would prevent them from being allowed to have firearms.
More than 200 counties in the United States are gun sanctuary counties.