By Michael G. Maness
CHESTER – City Council of Chester passed an anti-Red Flag ordinance at its regular meeting Monday evening held on Feb. 4.
Mayor Floyd Petri had introduced it at the previous meeting. Petri solicited comments from the public and even hosted a town hall meeting on Saturday, Feb. 2, for anyone to comment on any aspect of city affairs. The previous mayor, Elton Lawrence, showed up and said he, too, supported Petri’s proposed ordinance.
The ordinance amends the city code adding an “Anti-Red Flag Ordinance” to help protect gun owners’ Second Amendment rights expressly so that those rights “shall not be infringed.” The purpose section outlined the threat of seizure being experienced in the country, even from those who have licenses to carry. The city considers all such laws a violation of the U.S. Constitution. “In effect the City of Chester, Texas creates a Sanctuary City for Legal Gun Owners … Texas Licensed Hunters, Firearm Collections, Arsenals, Christians and those persons bearing arms under the Second Amendment.”
As previously reported, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s SB 2607 and some abuses reported in other states have scared gun enthusiasts.
The Chester ordinance also protects firearm seizure from any anonymous reporting, a key concern in the debate, and ordinance makes such a clear infringement of Second Amendment rights.
The ordinance provides a mechanism for the citizen to appeal, and it makes exceptions for the mentally ill and states that “it is the individual and not the gun that kills and injures.”
Though a couple of were absent, the ordinance passed unanimously by the quorum present. Petri thanked council.
In other business, the council approved the minutes of the previous meeting and the financials for the city and the Chester Gas System.
There was a little discussion on the purchase of the dump trailer, and Petri was working on options regarding that. Petri has initiated contact with the new Pct. 2 Commissioner Steven Sturrock to hopefully continue their partnership on road repairs the city had with long-time Chester resident and former commissioner Rusty Hughes, who retired last year.
There was a little progress on council members getting Incident Command System training with the National Incident Management System of FEMA.
Past due accounts were discussed, and there were several slated for lock out. Petri reiterated and thanked City Secretary Annette Hickman for her input as she worked with the public respecting needs and keeping the council abreast of those customers who have initiated contact to keep their gas service coming.