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Second Amendment sanctuary action taking roots in Kentucky, Boone County to vote on resolution

By Mark Maynard
Kentucky Today

Boyd County Fiscal Court will meet next week to likely become the latest Second Amendment sanctuary county in Kentucky, a grassroots movement that is building steam in response to state gun control laws.

If Boyd County votes to become a sanctuary county it would be one of about a half dozen with more than three dozen others lined up for a hearing to consider making a resolution. Cumberland, Letcher, Hancock, Lewis, Knott and Harlan.

More than 200 showed up in the Lewis County Courthouse on Monday during a meeting to make the county a Second Amendment sanctuary. (Lewis County Herald photo)

State gun control laws, including firearms bans, universal background checks and magazine capacity restrictions have put local law enforcement officers at odds with state lawmakers. 

Many of these law enforcement officers see their refusal to enforce laws to which their counties are opposed as serving residents of those counties. This has instigated the move by some counties to declare themselves “sanctuary counties” that refuse to enforce laws they deem arbitrary, unconstitutional and even a direct threat to the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

The sanctuary city/county movement in Virginia set the stage for those against the enactment of tighter gun control in other states.

Democrats took control of the Virginia state legislature in the November election and, with the help of Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, they have crafted several pieces of gun control legislation.

In response, gun owners and Second Amendment supporters have banded together and are demanding their local officials approve sanctuary resolutions to ignore gun control laws that go against the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Boyd County Judge-Executive Eric Chaney said it was the only item on the agenda Tuesday and he was encouraging residents to attend.

“We want people here for this. We encourage people to come,” Chaney said. “I can’t speak for the commissioners, but I strongly support the second amendment and I support this resolution.”

Boyd County, whether it ultimately approves becoming such a county or not, has joined a growing list of counties across the country that have exhibited a negative response to recent gun control laws. The result is often local officials such as sheriffs who refuse to enforce such laws, are in legal hot water themselves by state officials who are promising a legal response to such a refusal.

Fourth District U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie attended a meeting in Vanceburg on Monday when Lewis County became a sanctuary county.

“Attended my first 2A sanctuary meeting today in Lewis County (where I live). Standing room only. Friends and neighbors spoke passionately and articulately. County officials unanimously passed a resolution,” Massie said on Twitter. “This grassroots movement feels even stronger than the Tea Party in 2010.”

Counties are supporting the resolution as a practical defense against possible federal or state legislation that could limit access to or possession of certain firearms, ammunition or gun accessories. A potential Red Flag Law — legislation that would allow certain people, such as family members or police officers, to ask a judge to order the removal of an individual’s firearms if the person is deemed a threat to himself or others – is another area of concern. 

The law could prevent suicides, mass shootings and domestic violence, advocates say. Red Flag laws are already in place in 17 states. The bill hasn’t been filed yet, but it has bipartisan support. Second Amendment proponents say it infringes on their rights.

The resolutions do not carry the full force of law but do have some political clout, Massie said. More than 200 showed up for the meeting in Lewis County as the Second Amendment resolution was read on Monday.

“That just never happens,” Massie said. “Even if you do call them symbolic, they are consequential politically. I think it will give politicians pause when they see these kinds of numbers and this level of organization.”

*Editor’s note: The Boone County Fiscal Court is expected to consider a Second Amendment Sanctuary County resolution at its January 14 meeting.

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