Commissioners taking stand on gun rights
The Stokes County Board of Commissioners is pushing through a resolution that would voice the county’s support of the Second Amendment and resist any move to violate gun owners’ rights or to publish a list of gun owners.
The resolution — which will be included in a consent agenda for approval at the next county meeting — states the board’s resolve to defend the Constitution and that it “will not consent to unconstitutional laws, executive orders, or foreign/domestic tyranny.” It calls on the governor and General Assembly to “pass legislation that will guarantee the protection of our God-given right in the defense of our liberty for all North Carolinians.”
The resolution also calls on the state legislature to exempt personal gun ownership information from public record laws and to guarantee the right of citizens with concealed carry permits “to carry unimpeded a concealed weapon with very limited exceptions in any place that a duly sworn law enforcement officer may carry a weapon.” Any law passed by the General Assembly or imposed by an executive official that restricts the right to keep and bear arms should “be subject to the strictest judicial scrutiny if challenged as infringing on the right to keep and bear arms,” it states.
The resolution was included on the discussion agenda portion of Monday night’s board meeting, but discussion lasted less than two minutes. It was moved to the consent agenda for the next regular board meeting after quick remarks. Consent agenda items are typically approved in a package with little or no discussion.
The resolution was proposed by Commissioner James Booth, who explained after the meeting, “I just believe in the Second Amendment right to bear arms.”
County Manager Rick Morris introduced the resolution Monday, stating, “There’s a major national discussion going on and a lot of activity in this area, and I think that it’s probably an appropriate time to consider such a resolution by the board of commissioners.”
Commissioner Ronda Jones said, “I’m all for it. I’m definitely in support of the Second Amendment.”
Commissioner Leon Inman said, “Read it. Very much on board with it … supports the Constitution.”
Booth thanked the commissioners for their positive input. He said he saw resolutions from other counties and that with the help of the clerk and county manager they were able to craft a resolution for Stokes.
“I think it’s very needed,” he said.
Commissioner Jimmy Walker suggested it be added to the consent agenda at the next meeting.
The resolution lists the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and states that “a ‘Militia’ when properly formed, is in fact the people themselves … and includes … all citizens capable of bearing arms,” and that “the right of the people to bear arms was, and remains, the ultimate barrier to all forms of tyranny.” It also states that “the lawless are unaffected by prohibitions imposed upon law abiding citizens’ natural rights”; “the vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens”; and “owning a firearm for the defense of one’s person, home, family and liberty is not the exercise of government privilege, but of God’s given right.”
Debates on gun control have raged across the nation in recent months, initiated in part by a shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., with President Barack Obama later calling for bans on “military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines” in a package of several steps aimed at reducing gun violence.
The Stokes resolution states that the president and vice president “have been reported recently to be considering adopting laws, regulations or actions which would have the effect of infringing on the right of Americans to keep and bear arms.”
Earlier this month Stokes County Sheriff Mike Marshall posted a statement on Facebook saying he would not support any federal action which he believes to be in violation of the Constitution.
“My office will not comply with any federal action which violates the United States Constitution or the North Carolina Constitution which I swore (to) uphold,” he said. The sheriff later clarified that he was not saying he would not enforce the law, but that he would not support any action in violation of the Constitution.
Marshall posted online: “Sheriff’s are obligated to enforce the law, and the supreme law of the land is the Constitution.”
The King City Council may also soon consider a resolution about gun control, as suggested by Councilman Brian Carico at the council’s February meeting.
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