CARTHAGE — Panola commissioners recently voted to declare their county as a Second Amendment sanctuary, joining Upshur, Smith and other East Texas counties.
The resolution, adopted unanimously Dec. 31 by commissioners, supports the county’s sheriff “in the exercise of his sound discretion, and affirms its resolve to support decisions by our sheriff to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms restrictions against any citizen.”
The resolution also says the commissioners court will not appropriate funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, jails or offices “for the purpose of enforcing law that unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
When asked by the audience about the impact the resolution would have on ammunition, Panola County Judge LeeAnn Jones said she would look into it.
“This is strictly the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms,” she said. “I’m not sure where the ammunition is going to fall.”
Pct. 1 Commissioner Ronnie LaGrone thanked Pct. 4 Commissioner Dale LaGrone for getting the resolution kicked off.
“It was under his guidance that he and I talked with Representative (Chris) Paddie and went forward with this,” Ronnie LaGrone said.
Nicole Tarpley, Panola County Republican chairwoman, thanked commissioners for adopting the resolution.
“The Constitution has been around for such a long, long time and it has served us very well. It’s a sad thing that we have to say that we’re in support of it,” she said. “We should always be in support of it, and we should always defend it, protect it. The Second Amendment is one of the items that is upon the national public eye, and we must do everything we can to protect our Constitution. I am very, very proud of Panola County for adopting this.”
A Nov. 6 Texas Monthly article attributed the movement to threats by Democratic presidential candidates — specifically former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who has dropped out of the race — to impose strict limits on certain firearms.
The resolutions passed by the counties generally state that county resources won’t be used “for any ‘acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules, or regulations that infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms,’ including registering existing lawfully owned firearms and bans or restrictions on semiautomatic weapons and ammunition,” according to Texas Monthly.