ROCKWALL — It was a grass roots show of support for gun rights.
People packed the Rockwall City Council chambers Monday night wearing homemade stickers in support of the Second Amendment. “My constitutional rights feel threatened; my Second Amendment rights feel threatened; and then my life begins to feel threatened,” said Rockwall resident Tina Millican.
Council member Michelle Smith proposed a resolution to “protect and defend the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.” It was largely a ceremonious show of support for the Second Amendment. But Millican and others said they were glad their City Council was willing to do it.
“The best way to fight back is at the local level,” she said. Rockwall, with a population of 39,000, needed to tell the federal government to “back off,” said Gerald Barnes. “There needs to be a reality check,” he said. No one spoke in opposition to the resolution. About 10 people spoke for it, including Zach Maginnis, a Rockwall High School senior. He’s on his way to the Air Force Academy after high school graduation.
“Our rights — specifically our Second Amendment rights — are being threatened by the federal government,” he told Council members. “As a citizen of Rockwall, I’d like to see my hometown lead by example and prepare a public response to these threats.”
Smith’s resolution says the Council believes laws limiting access to guns and ammunition are unconditional. It does not order Rockwall police to ignore such laws, but does urge Congress not to pass them.
Mayor Pro Tem David White said he’s a staunch Second Amendment supporter, but he saw no reason for the resolution. “I’m not necessarily for the resolution,” he said. “It’s not necessarily for the Second Amendment. When I said it’s a ploy to get media attention.” He paused, then pointed straight at the Channel 8 news camera. Smith eventually agreed to remove two references to United States Supreme Court cases referring to the power given to local government when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.
After about an hour of discussion among Council members, White and one other voted “no,” but four members and the mayor voted “yes.” Smith called it the City of Rockwall doing what she believes the people of Rockwall want done. “What we hope is that Congress will look at these executive orders, they’ll watch those closely and act,” she said. “We’re asking them to act.”
League City, Texas near Houston, and Gonzales, Texas between Houston and San Antonio passed similar resolutions in the last couple of weeks.