On August 10, 2021, the Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana Council passed an ordinance in support of the Second Amendment. The Resolution passed with a vote of 7-1.
Verification Citation/Source: Pointe Coupee Parish, LA – Parish Council
Resolution date passed: 10 Aug 2021
Vote Count: 7 Aye – 1 Nay.
To express the Pointe Coupee Parish Council’s support of the Second Amendment and to further provide with respect thereto.
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States of America is the Supreme Law of our nation; and
WHEREAS, Article I, Section 11 of the Louisiana State Constitution currently provides: “The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”; and
WHEREAS, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”; and
WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, Section 1, states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) affirmed that a person’s Second Amendment rights to “keep and bear arms” is further secured by the “due process” and the “privileges and immunities” clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision also protects rights closely related to the Second Amendment, namely the right to manufacture, transfer, purchase and sell firearms, accessories and ammunition; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) recognized the individual’s right to keep and bear arms, as protected by the Second Amendment. Justice Antonin Scalia’ s prevailing opinion in that case stated that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and the right to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home; and
WHEREAS, John Adams wrote in “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law” (1765): I say Rights, for such they (the people) have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, Rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws, Rights derived from the great Legislator of the universe; and
WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Pointe Coupee Parish Council that parish councils and the sheriffs of additional parishes whose citizens likewise treasure their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms should act similarly, and to the full extent of their authority, as we intend to do herein so that those who may seek to curtail or threaten the constitutional rights of the citizenry will take note; and
WHEREAS, in Printz v. United States (1997), the United States Supreme Court held: “The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.” Thus, local government bodies have the legal authority and, in the opinion of the Pointe Coupee Parish Council the duty, to refuse to engage in behavior or take actions in furtherance of Federal firearm laws or regulations that violate those rights recognized therein; and
WHEREAS, the Pointe Coupee Parish Council acknowledges its responsibility to not only allow the residents of Pointe Coupee Parish the right to keep and bear arms but to defend those rights by supporting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, § 11 of the Louisiana State Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the Pointe Coupee Parish Council recognizes the limitations placed upon it by the Supremacy Clause of the United State Constitution as well as the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Marbuty v. Madison, and can therefore not act to invalidate Federal Law nor enact ordinances that violate these principles. However, it also recognizes the autonomy that it has, and its duty to refuse to enforce Federal mandates, laws or regulatory programs that are violative of the God Given rights guaranteed to the Citizens of Pointe Coupee Parish by the United States Constitution and the Louisiana State Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the Pointe Coupee Parish Council recognizes that the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff is an independent elected official in Louisiana, established by Article V, Section 27 of the Louisiana Constitution. Further, it is hereby recognized that the Parish Council has no operational control over the Pointe Coupee Parish Sherriff, its officers or its employees. With that said, the Parish Council urges the Pointe Coupee Parish Sherriff to recognize the autonomy that he or she has and the right and duty not to be coerced by, and to refuse to enforce Federal mandates, laws or regulatory programs that are violative of the rights guaranteed to the Citizens of Pointe Coupee Parish by the United States Constitution and the Louisiana State Constitution;
WHEREAS, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, in his majority opinion in Printz v. United States wrote: “We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the State’s officers directly.” The Parish Council further urges the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff to educate his officers, employees and agents that they, likewise, cannot be compelled or coerced to enforce Federal mandates, laws or regulatory programs when, in the exercise of his or her duties as Sheriff, he or she refuses to do so; and
WHEREAS, a criminal’s intent to harm others with or without a firearm is a selfish act and criminals by definition do not obey laws. Therefore, laws that have the effect of disarming law-abiding citizens in an effort, purportedly, to reduce gun crime are not only an infringement upon the rights of the citizens, but will also embolden criminals and give them an advantage over those who follow the law. A sincere desire to reduce criminal gun violence is a laudable goal, but is neither a sufficient nor a constitutionally valid justification to abrogate or abridge the unalienable, constitutionally-guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Pointe Coupee Parish Council as follows:
1. RESOLVED, that the Pointe Coupee Parish Council does determine that the legal, historic and patriotic words of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” is hereby declared to be the public policy of the Pointe Coupee Parish Government and that Pointe Coupee Parish is hereby declared to be a second amendment sanctuary Parish.
2. The Pointe Coupee Parish Council hereby declares that public funds of the Parish shall not be used to unlawfully restrict the individual rights of the citizens of Pointe Coupee Parish to keep and bear arms as recognized in the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Louisiana, nor shall public funds of the Parish aid in the unlawful restriction of those same individual rights.
3. The Pointe Coupee Parish Council will not appropriate funds or allow the resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices under its authority and control to be used for the purpose of enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of any element of such acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules or regulations that infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms as described in detail above.
4. In the event a federal statute or law is passed that is of questionable constitutionality, any member of the Pointe Coupee Parish Council may call for a vote of the Council to determine not whether the law is constitutionally valid, as this is beyond the scope or authority of the Council, but whether or not funds will be expended pursuant to the enforcement of said law, or prevented from being expended pursuant to this ordinance. Unless and until such vote is called, no changes in spending will occur.
5. The provisions of this Ordinance are hereby declared to be severable, and if any provisions of this Ordinance or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance is declared invalid for any reason, such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Ordinance.
6. This ordinance shall not be amended, revoked or otherwise altered without public notice and a public hearing to be held in accordance with the Home Rule Charter of this Parish.
A. The protections provided to citizens by this Ordinance do not apply to persons who have been convicted of felony crimes or who are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.
B. This Ordinance is not intended to prohibit or affect in any way the prosecution of any crime for which the use or possession of a firearm is an aggregating factor or enhancement to an otherwise independent crime.
C. This Ordinance does not permit or otherwise allow the possession of firearms in federal buildings, schools or where otherwise prescribed by law.
All ordinances or parts thereof in conflict herewith are hereby repealed. This ordinance shall take effect upon its adoption.
Should any provision of this ordinance, or the application thereof, be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.
A public hearing was held on August 10, 2021, after due advertisement, and the ordinance was duly adopted by the following roll call vote: YEAS: Messrs. Gaspard, LaCoste, Soulier, Watkins, Jarreau, Bergeron and Boudreaux. NAYS: Mr. Bazile. ABSTAIN: None. ABSENT: None.
On a vote of 7-1-0-0, the ordinance was declared adopted this 10th day of August, 2021.
Gerrie P. Martin — Council Clerk
Dustin Boudreaux — Chairman
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