Calhoun County has become a Second Amendment Sanctuary county following approval by the Calhoun County Commissioners’ Court during its meeting on Jan. 29.
The vote was 3-0 with Commissioner Vern Lyssy abstaining.
Calhoun County Sheriff Bobbie Vickery presented a resolution in support of protecting and defending individuals’ Second Amendment rights.
“We took an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution,” said Vickery, noting the resolution would make people feel more comfortable about their rights being upheld. “I took an oath to abide by the Constitution, and I will feel better about being able to keep my promise.”
“I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate. I’m a gun owner, and the Second Amendment protects me and so does the state constitution so why do I need this?” he asked.
“It’s a promise to the people – we are oath keepers both state and federal – so it’s a promise we won’t allow any infringement upon these rights,” said Vickery, speaking of any legislation that could attempt to set limits on guns.
“This paper has no weight,” said Lyssy, noting it is not easy to change the U.S. Constitution or the Texas Constitution and that “any document signed in support would have no meaning. This is more politically driven than anything.”
“Not to me,” replied Vickery.
Lyssy also asked why not a resolution supporting, say the First Amendment, and Vickery replied that they were not trying to take away First Amendment rights.
Vickery said it was important to join with the other counties in making this statement.
“I get calls both ways, and both have valid points. The Constitution guarantees it, and the Texas Constitution guarantees it,” said Lyssy.
The resolution called for the court to affirm its support for the duly elected sheriff of Calhoun County, Texas, in the exercise of his sound discretion, and affirms its resolve to support the decision made by our sheriff to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms restrictions against any citizens.”
It also states the court would not “authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, contractors, buildings, detention centers, or offices for the purpose of enforcing a law that unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Through this resolution, hereby declares our rights our freedoms and our liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Commissioner David Hall made the motion to sign the resolution with Commissioner Clyde Syma seconding. Hall, Syma, and Commissioner Gary Reese voted for it and Lyssy abstained.
In other business, the court:
-- Approved the installation of two-way stop signs in Port O’Connor at Madison Avenue at Fourth Street, Fifth Street, and Sixth Street and at Third Street and Taylor Avenue.
-- Entered into interlocal agreements with the Calhoun County Soil and Water Conservation District No. 345 for $7,750; Calhoun County Senior Citizens Association, Inc., for $35,000; the Harbor Children’s Alliance & Victim Center, $28,500; and Calhoun County Crime Stoppers, $1,000.
-- Approved a lease agreement with Xerox for a copier for the Calhoun County Extension Service.
-- Authorized the Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce to sell alcohol at the Crawfish Festival set for April 25 at King Fisher Park; designated Park Avenue as one-way during the festival and designated a grassy area for golf cart parking only; authorized fireworks display during the festival.
-- Accepted 2019 Certificate of Completion for Continuing Education Hours from the District Clerk.
-- Accepted funds from the sale of a 2002 Ford F-150, Vermeer 1250 BC Wood Chipper and Miller Bobcats for a total of $3,132.25 to be placed in the 2020 Precinct 1 budget for Road and Bridge Supplies.
-- Accepted donations to the Calhoun Public Library, declared a list of items as surplus/salvage and also declared a list of items as waste.
-- Accepted a report from the Tax Assessor-Collector for December 2019.
-- Accepted Auditor’s Report for the District Attorney – Hot Check Fund, the Hot Check Restitution Fund, and Petty Cash; County Clerk; Elections; Floodplain; Emergency Medical Services and its Office Fund; Sheriff – Adult Detention Center Commissary Fund; District Clerk; County Extension Service; and Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3.
-- Approved eight budget adjustments to the 2019 budget as well as one for the 2020 budget.
-- Paid bills and payroll for the county and Memorial Medical Center.