Thursday, December 1, 2022

Flower Mound mayor drops plan to ban wearing masks while armed

Flower Mound Mayor Derek France is dropping his plan to propose an ordinance that would restrict or ban people from wearing a face covering while possessing a firearm in Flower Mound.

Flower Mound Mayor Derek France

France first brought up the issue during the Sept. 19 Town Council meeting, and elaborated on it with a post on his public Facebook page, Derek the Mayor, two days later. France said in the post that he was concerned because armed ANTIFA members were reported recently in Roanoke and Denton.

“Ever since I saw this occur just next door, it’s been bothering me,” France said in the post. “I think we as elected officials should try and do something to protect our community from this type of overt show of force … I’m not trying to sound like an alarmist, but this is coming to our beautiful Town sooner than you think.”

Masked members of the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club at a drag brunch in Roanoke on Aug. 28, 2022.

The post did not go over well. Nearly all of the 690 comments are critical of France’s idea, as some thought it would violate the second amendment and others pointed out that France mentioned ANTIFA but not any other movements or groups.

On Monday night, the council discussed the idea during executive session, and afterward, France said publicly that they were dropping it because it would be preempted by local government code.

“Essentially, a municipality may not adopt regulations relating to firearms or their accessories,” France said. “At this time, your Town Council will not be considering that agenda item going forward.”

France provided a statement on Thursday afternoon.

“We determined municipalities have very limited authority to regulate firearms or their accessories,” he said in the statement. “My intent in raising this idea was just to consider safety. Part of being an elected official is brainstorming ideas and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.”

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

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