Commissioners pass Second Amendment sanctuary resolution

Stanly County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to make Stanly a Second Amendment sanctuary county Tuesday night.

Stanly joins Beaufort, Cherokee, Cleveland, Davidson, Lincoln, McDowell, Pitt, Rowan, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry and Wilkes counties in passing similar resolutions. Cabarrus and Gaston are planning to vote on similar resolutions.

These resolutions simply reaffirm that local governments will not enact unconstitutional gun-control measures and will comply with the U.S. Constitution.

“I thank God for it (the passage of the resolution),” said Mitchell Cook, pastor at Full Gospel Mission Church in Albemarle.

Cook calls himself a “concerned citizen of the Second Amendment.”

“I think it’s the best thing that could happen to Stanly County,” he said.

Commissioner Ashley Morgan introduced the resolution. He said he had several citizens approach him about two weeks ago to take action since several surrounding counties had already done so.

“It’s a sad state in our country that we have to pass a resolution like this to protect our Second Amendment rights,” Morgan said.

In the resolution, the board of county commissioners “implores the North Carolina Legislature and the United States Congress to preserve, uphold, and protect the rights of all law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms under the United States Constitution and North Carolina Constitution and further implores the North Carolina Legislature and the United States Congress to reject any provision, law, or regulation that may infringe, have the tendency to infringe, or place any additional burdens on the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.”

The impetus for creating the resolution to become a sanctuary county stems from the Virginia legislature, which is working to introduce stronger gun control legislation. Since taking office this month, the Democratic majority in Virginia approved a ban on guns at the state capitol and introduced several bills to regulate gun ownership, including universal background checks, a ban on military-style rifles and a bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others, according to news reports.

On Monday, thousands of Second Amendment advocates protested new gun laws in Richmond, Va.

“Folks, we are one election away from being in a situation such as Virginia, which is basically leading this,” Morgan said.

Morgan met with Sheriff Jeff Crisco to help create the resolution. Crisco said he didn’t know Morgan was working on a resolution during the same time he was.

“Myself and the commissioners are trying to look out for what’s in the best interest of our citizens of this country,” Crisco said to much applause from the crowd. “We’re here to protect you all.”

During the discussion of the resolution, Commissioner Mike Barbee offered an amendment to include any type of firearm, magazine or accessory. The resolution was voted upon and unanimously added to the resolution.

Several citizens spoke about the resolution during the public comment section of the meeting.

Floyd Rinehart said the true meaning of the Second Amendment was not about a citizen’s right to hunt or protect themselves or their family but “to ensure that citizens have the means and weaponry at their disposal necessary to defend themselves from an overreaching and tyrannical government such as we’re seeing the rise of today.”

He said it is only a matter of time until the urban areas of the state outvote the rural areas in general elections and the citizens of the state “will face the same threat Virginia faces today.” He also said he expects the state to eventually confiscate firearms from people who already possess them.

Allen Mauldin, who has owned guns his whole life, came to voice his support for Crisco and the resolution. Though he has never raised his gun in anger against anyone, he said he has to “carry a burden” when his Second Amendment rights are threatened.

“All government is local and when our neighbors in Virginia are getting their Second Amendment rights trampled on,” Commissioner Zach Almond said in closing comments. “The people of Stanly County need to know where we stand.”

Almond said he is a concealed carry holder and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.

“I’d like to thank all the people that came out to show their support,” said Commissioner Lane Furr, who is a concealed weapons carrier.

“I know I love my freedom and I think you all love yours also and part of that freedom is the right to bear arms,” Commissioner Bill Lawhon said. “I don’t know of another country around us that have freedoms like the American people do and we need to protect those freedoms.”

Morgan was impressed with the crowd that came out to offer support.

“I think it’s great that we have so many citizens that care about our Second Amendment rights in this county and that stand up for it,” he said after the event.