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County named 2nd Amendment sanctuary: 4th county in Ohio to pass resolution

Lawrence County is now a Second Amendment sanctuary county after the commissioners passed a resolution to that effect on Tuesday morning.

That makes Lawrence County the fourth county in the state to adopt the ordinance. The other counties that are Second Amendment sanctuaries are Scioto, Clermont and Meigs. Jackson Township in Perry County also passed a similar resolution.

Board president Deanna Holliday read a portion of the resolution before the commissioners voted on it.

“Whereas, the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners wishes to express its intent to stand as a Sanctuary County for Second Amendment rights and to oppose, within the limits of the Constitution of the United States and the State of Ohio, any effort to unconstitutionally restrict such rights, and to use such legal means at its disposal to protect the rights of the citizens of Lawrence County to keep and bear arms, including through legal action, the power to appropriate public funds, the right to petition for the redress of grievances, and the power to direct law enforcement and employees of Lawrence County not to enforce any unconstitutional law,” she read.

The resolution declared that the commissioners expressed its intent that public funds of the county not be used to restrict the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Lawrence County, or to aid federal or state agencies in the restriction of those rights.

Holliday said that Effingham County, Illinois was the first governing body in the U.S. explicitly use the term “sanctuary” and to pass a Second Amendment sanctuary law on April 16, 2018, which prohibited county employees from enforcing certain state gun control laws.

She said the numbers of people for a Second Amendment sanctuaries has only increased.

Before the resolution was voted on, the commissioners spoke about it.

“Today, your Lawrence County Commissioners have an important decision to make,” Holliday said. “We have been asked by literally thousands of our citizens to pass a non-binding, but hugely symbolic resolution proclaiming Lawrence County a sanctuary for gun ownership and possession. And we do take this seriously.”

Non-binding means that the commissioners cannot pass laws, since that power lies with the state legislature and Congress.

The commissioners received the resolution last week and forwarded it to their legal counsel, Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson. Holliday said he carefully scrutinized the resolution since the commissioners are required to abide by Ohio’s laws and ordinances. An edited version was returned to the commissioners for their consideration.

“Today, I am very gratified to be in the position as your newly-elected president of the commission to bring this resolution to the table,” she said. “I embrace the power and the strength of this timeless document we call the Constitution.”

She said as a gun owner and a mother and grandmother, that people have a right to self-protection.

Commissioner Dr. Colton Copley said with all the national news about gun control measures in Virginia and the right to bear arms, he said he was proud that the commissioners support the right of the citizens to bear arms.

He recognized Lawrence Township trustee Larry Pernestti, of Kitts Hill and the group of volunteers that brought the resolution to the commissioners.

“I’m proud to be a part of it and I’m proud of what we are doing in Lawrence County to protect the Constitutional right to bear arms.”

Pernestti thanked the commissioners and Anderson for all they did.

“I feel a lot better and relaxed, now that we can say that Lawrence County has joined numerous counties in the state and across the United States as being a Second Amendment sanctuary county,” he said.

Commissioner Freddie Hayes said he was also very proud.

“One of our main concerns is to protect the citizens in this county and I am just glad to be a part of this,” he said.

He did address Facebook comments about that the effort was costing the taxpayers money.

“It doesn’t cost any money to do this,” he said. “There is no cost to the taxpayers to do this.”