Following the lead of other counties, commissioners voted Tuesday to adopt a resolution declaring Jackson County a Second Amendment sanctuary, in support of the constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to bear arms.
Commission Chairman Clint Pate brought the matter forward for discussion; it passed, 4-1, on a motion offered by Commissioner Jim Peacock and seconded by Commissioner Eric Hill.
Commissioner Willie Spires cast the lone vote against the measure, saying he felt such a resolution was an overreaction to some of the instances, cited by Pate, Hill and Peacock during the discussion phase, in which certain states have sought to limit the legality of certain types of firearms or modify and/or adopt other gun-control regulations.
Spires questioned whether these states’ individual actions have the power to impact the nation’s Second Amendment at all; Peacock responded saying he felt that state-by-state regulation changes was a means by which the amendment could be weakened.
Pate acknowledged that the resolution does little more than send a statement that “Jackson County is for the Second Amendment.” Peacock added that he felt it was an act that shows “we are willing to stand up and say ‘we are here standing up to support the Second Amendment.’”
Hill cited the developing gun-control situation in Virginia, where a gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday is expected to bring thousands to that state’s capital. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam this week banned guns from that gathering, given that the event concerns such an emotionally charged issue.
Hill asserted in the meeting that Virginia is sending its National Guard to confiscate certain types of guns.
Congressman Donald McEachin, who represents Virginia’s 4th District, had suggested that Northam might need to do so, in order to enforce the new gun regulations, should they pass, given that many counties there have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, in declarations similar to the one adopted by Jackson and other counties in Florida.
Northam has refuted the claim. “We have no intention of calling out the National Guard,” he said in a Jan. 7 address. “We’re not going to go door-to-door and confiscate individual’s weapons.”
Lockey on Tuesday stated for clarification that the local group’s resolution is meant as a statement that the Jackson County stands behind the Second Amendment as it now stands.
Pate said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has started legislation to prohibit certain citizens from having guns. In fact, the governor there has recently signed legislation that requires state licensing for gun sellers there, and has said he will advocate for further gun control measures. He, for instance, has said he wants his state to outlaw trigger cranks and bump stocks. The Illinois State Rifle Association expects to challenge the new legislation regarding state certification, asserting that it merely duplicates federal requirements and unnecessarily burdens sellers with additional costs and paperwork.
Peacock said he felt the resolution was a needed statement.
“The way they’re doing it, they’re tightening up restrictions on people; that’s the way they’re getting at taking them away. We don’t want people coming and telling us ‘you can’t own a shotgun or you can’t buy ammunition.’ It is being proposed by some politicians around the country to come around and confiscate and to restrict the types (of guns one can have).”
“I’m just perplexed by the notion that the states can come and demand your guns,” Spires said. “They’ll do it through regulations,” Peacock responded.