Last Friday, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 483 into law, which will create a new state-level bullion depository. According to KVUE-TV, representatives from Governor Abbott’s office said that, under the new law, Texas will repatriate $1 billion in gold from the New York branch of the Federal Reserve to its new state gold depository, which has been unofficially nicknamed Texas’ “Fort Knox.”
“Today I signed HB 483 to provide a secure facility for the State of Texas, state agencies and Texas citizens to store gold bullion and other precious metals. With the passage of this bill, the Texas Bullion Depository will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state,” said Governor Abbott, according to a press release.
The Houston Chronicle notes that the legislation was originally introduced by Southlake Republican Representative Giovanni Capriglione back in 2013, but that it only recently gained momentum in the Texas legislature.
Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin wrote that the bill “creates a means for transactions to occur” in gold. “In short, a person will be able to deposit gold or silver – and pay other people through electronic means or checks – in sound money. Doing so has the potential to open the market to sound money in day-to-day transactions,” said Boldin.
According to The Epoch Times, Victor Sperandeo of the financial firm EAM Partners said, “In this case it’s going to be a depository, the gold is going to be there, they are not going to be able to lend it out and it won’t serve as collateral for other transactions of the bank.” Funds held in the depository will be protected by the State of Texas from any attempts at seizure, even by the federal government.
Constitutional lawyer Edwin Viera told The Epoch Times, “People can legally [use gold as money] with gold contracts. The difficulty is the implementation. Now Texas has set up a mechanism with the depository. We have accounts in that institution and can easily transfer back and forth certain amounts. So we can run our money system on a gold or silver basis if we were so inclined.” He continued, “If someone from the Department of Justice comes along you are going to see legal and political fireworks. The state is going to say ‘we need to have a mechanism to make gold and silver money. This is pursuant to the constitutional provision we have. You can’t touch this. Our state power on the constitutional level is more powerful than any statute you may pass’.”
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Giovanni Capriglione, said to the Star-Telegram, “When I first announced this, I got so many emails and phone calls from people literally all over the world who said they want to store their gold … in a Texas depository. People have this image of Texas as big and powerful … so for a lot of people, this is exactly where they would want to go with their gold.”
Under the law, the Officer of the Comptroller will serve as the custodian and administrator of Texas’ new precious metals depository.