A rally in support of a Second Amendment Sanctuary County Resolution is planned for Monday, February 24 at 6 p.m. in front of the Sumner County Administration Building.
The rally, organized by Sumner County Stands United, will immediately precede the regular monthly meeting of the Sumner County Board of Commissioners at 7 p.m.
Sumner County Stands United is part of a proactive, statewide, grassroots movement to engage city, county and state officials with the hopes of safeguarding and preserving Tennessean’s right to keep and bear arms under both the Tennessee and U.S. Constitutions.
The organization says that 85 of Tennessee’s 95 counties are active in the movement.
Sumner County Stands United said in a press release that residents are angry and disappointed after a Legislative Committee meeting on February 10, when committee members rejected the 2A Sanctuary County Resolution as proposed.
The original resolution would prohibit Sumner County from using any state or county funds to enforce unconstitutional gun control measures.
The language in the original resolution is the exact language used by and successfully passed in Wilson, Jefferson, McNairy and Loudon Counties, according to Sumner County Stands United.
The organization also says that, to date, over 30 counties have passed similar resolutions.
As Sumner County Stands United explains in the press release, what Sumner County’s Legislative Committee members decided to do, instead, was to amend the 2A Sanctuary County Resolution to reflect the entire Bill of Rights and voted yes to that amendment, before one word had been written.
As The Tennessee Star reported about the February 10 Legislative Committee meeting, the substitute resolution was released days afterwards and reads:
A RESOLUTION DECLARING OUR FIRM SUPPORT IN THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE PROMISES AND COMMITMENTS MADE TO OUR COUNTRY AND EXPRESSING TO OUR STATE DELEGATES THAT WE ARE OPPOSED TO ANY LEGISLATION WHICH WOULD LIMIT THESE RIGHTS
WHEREAS, our country is formed upon the framework of the United States Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights and such is the basis of the freedoms provided to our country; and
WHEREAS, these rights prove a safety net that is the support for all rights given to the citizens of our country and this body is greatly opposed to any and all legislation which would limit these rights or attempt to infringe upon them; and
WHEREAS, working together, these privileges should not be limited, and this body expressly opposes any effort to limit any other rights given to us by these sacred documents.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Sumner County Board of County Commissioners, meeting in regular session on this the 24th day of February 2020 that this body does hereby declare our firm support in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the promises and commitments made to our country; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution shall be forwarded to our Tennessee Delegates to clearly demonstrate that we are opposed to any legislation which would limit these rights.
The Second Amendment Sanctuary County Resolution was brought the Sumner County Legislative Committee by Commissioner Jeremy Mansfield (R-District 11), although he is not a member of the committee.
Commissioner Mansfield’s response to the Legislative Committee’s position and subsequent alternate resolution that Sumner County has no authority with regards to the Second Amendment is that, “Sumner County has the right to refuse to cooperate with state and federal government officials in response to unconstitutional state and federal government measures, and to proclaim a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County for law-abiding citizens in their cities and county. The keyword is ‘unconstitutional.’ Nowhere does the resolution say anything about ‘constitutional’. People need to read the resolution in its entirety. We are not supporting ‘unconstitutional’ acts by a citizen, much less the government.”
Sumner County Stands United responded to the proposed resolution, “Sumner County is the only county to amend the document at all, never mind to reflect a watered down version of the Bill of Rights.”
Kimberly Hasse, Sumner County Stands United organizer, states, “The Second Amendment does not apply to semi-auto rifles, pistols or revolvers. The Second Amendment restricts government and the technology of the firearm is irrelevant. The Second Amendment was not written to grant permission for citizens to own and bear firearms but forbids government interference in that right to keep and bear arms. Period.”
While Sumner County supporters of the Second Amendment want the Sanctuary County Resolution passed as written, what appears on the Sumner County Commission agenda for Monday’s meeting is a resolution “declaring our firm support in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the promises and commitments made to our country and expressing to our state delegates that we are opposed to any legislation which limits these rights.”
However, as the result of a request by Commissioner Moe Taylor during the Legislative Committee meeting, who attended the meeting despite not being a member of the committee, the original Second Amendment Sanctuary County Resolution is included in the full packet of information provided to commissioners for the meeting.
The agenda for the Monday, February 24 Sumner County Board of Commissioners meeting can be found here.
The Monday, February 24 Sumner County Board of Commissioners meeting will be live-streamed and archived here.
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Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Tennessee Star.
Photo “Sumner County Courthouse” by Ichabod. CC BY-SA 3.0.