Heidi Thiess wants you to know that this isn't about her. This resolution -- this resolution that League City's just passed, banning any federal limits pertaining to guns, to ammunition, to the Second Amendment -- isn't anything personal. This is something larger, she says. This isn't a woman and a mission and the first resolution of its kind in the nation. This is bigger than any one councilperson in any lone exurb in Texas.
"If I'd wanted to leave it alone, I could have," says Thiess, who submitted the resolution earlier this week. "And now there are kooks out there who say, 'We'll drop a drone on her head,' and because of those kooks this [resolution] has marked me. But I don't want it to be about me."
And so, the resolution's not about her. And it's not about any of her other council members, who voted 7-1 this week to nullify any federal restrictions on both ownership and sales of firearms and clips. This is different. This is bigger.
"I swore an oath to defend the constitution in the military, and I had to swear it as a city council member," Thiess, a Tea Party Republican, said. "I've gotten push-back from members, saying that I should just be worried about ditches and drainage and sidewalks -- but [then] what's the point of swearing an oath?"
With the backing of such constitutional dedication, League City has now become the first city in the state -- and very possibly the first city in the nation -- to pass this form of firearm nullification. It has become the first provinciality in the country to grant itself the ability to ignore any federal statutes relating to the sale and possession of firearms.
As the language states, "[a]ll federal acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, and rules or regulations" relating to firearm confiscation, clip limitations, taxation, or registration will now be considered "invalid" within League City. Despite any potential legislation Texas's federal Senators and Congresspeople may help pass in the future, League City will remain immune from the dictated change.
The federal government "is filing legislation, [and] the thing that infuriates me is that they exempt themselves from their own legislation," Thiess added. "It's the same thing as they did with Obamacare. How dare they?"
It makes a certain sense that League City, which boasts the largest percentage of concealed handgun licensees in the state, would spear this measure. But Thiess noted that over a dozen other cities -- "from here straight through to the west of Texas" -- have reached out to her for copies of the resolution.
Furthermore, a bill, HB 553, has been filed in Austin expanding League City's suggestion to a state-wide level. Filed by Dayton's Rep. John Otto, HB 553 not only mandates that the state nullify any federal firearm and clip regulation, but would also turn any attempted confiscation into a criminal offense. But even if HB 553 doesn't pass, or if it's struck down in the near future, League City will continue its policy, and will continue its legacy as the first city within Texas to forgo any federal statutes pertaining to firearm regulation. Regardless of what the elected representatives in Washington declare, League City has granted itself the ability to ignore such laws.
There are questions, naturally, about the legality of the entire resolution. Much like marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado, socio-economic issues become blurred when multiple bodies govern the same statutes.
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"I do staunchly believe this will hold up in court," Thiess said via e-mail. "... If our federal government attempts to sue our town to crush lawful and necessary dissent, it will prove their utter lawlessness and oppression. And then all Americans everywhere will see the threat of tyranny for what it is."
And the rationale for such a move rests not with one councilperson, or with one legislative body, or with one local populace perceiving a slide toward executive overreach. The rationale for the measure lies, indeed, with the document to which Thiess -- and her fellow council-members, and her fellow veterans -- swore an oath.
"This is about a sovereign people, a free people resisting what we see as unconstitutional acts," Thiess noted. "I'm not out here euphoric about passing this. This is a very weighty issue. And my concern is this is only beginning of what could be a rough road."