Denton County designated a ‘Bill of Rights Protected County’

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Denton County Sheriff Tracey Murphree

The Denton County Commissioners Court on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution presented by the sheriff to make the county a “Bill of Rights Protected County” in a public declaration of support of the Second Amendment and other rights deemed “under attack.”

A few residents spoke in the Commissioners Court meeting, each in opposition to the proposed resolution, citing nationwide support of some gun control laws — such as universal background checks — and the dangers of gun violence. After the resolution was adopted, Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree wrote in a Facebook post that as “a strong advocate of the Second Amendment,” he wanted to publicly support the right to bear arms in case of possible future restrictions.

“As long as I am your Sheriff, neither I nor anyone working for me will participate in any gun confiscation, registration or mandatory government buy-back,” Murphree wrote.

A Denton news media report last week said Murphree was working on making Denton County a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.” But Murphree wanted to expand the resolution from being just about the Second Amendment to other rights he believes are under attack — including the freedom of speech, religion and right to due process — so the resolution was expanded to include the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

“I believe that our forefathers, in the First Amendment, put in the basic rights that every individual should have, and the Second Amendment shows how we keep them,” Murphree said during the meeting.

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About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Gene Ralno

    We’re witnessing a sea change in the sanctuary movement. I’ve always understood that these partisan laws could be defeated by simply denying assistance to federal or state law enforcement. Clearly, federal and state resources alone are woefully inadequate to enforce such things as red flag or magazine violations. Clearly too, they could not begin to undertake such an effort without local law enforcement assistance.

    If deputizing thousands in Culpeper County, Virginia, to physically resist federal and state law enforcement, is representative of the whole movement, it’s a soft rebellion against one issue which could rapidly expand. I’d estimate that almost 70 percent of the counties in the U.S. will endorse 2nd Amendment Sanctuary principles. If that materializes, federal and state enforcement initially would avoid the peaceful counties and concentrate on the 63 counties where the vast majority of criminal activity occurs.

    And if they wiped out most of the gang members, mobs and serious felons, the democrats might just shut up about this issue. Or they might be emboldened to go after the peaceable, lawful counties that have virtually no murders and very little crime. Armed confrontations between local law enforcement could easily flare and if new deputies are thrown into the mix, I’d put my money on the local forces even if half are untrained amateurs.

    And any governor tempted to oppress a sheriff should pay heed to the words of President James Madison. He said, “…local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere.” (Federalist 39)

    “There is no lawful authority for judges or a court to direct the law enforcement activities of a county sheriff. He’s not a part of the judiciary, and holds executive power and can set up a court, empanel a jury, and form a militia or posse to protect the rights of those he represents.”

    In other words, county sheriffs have the constitutional authority and duty to protect the citizens, by force if necessary, even if it means authorizing a militia.

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