ST. GEORGE — Last week Mohave County became the first jurisdiction in Arizona to become a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
The county’s Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the measure Nov. 4, according to a press release from Mohave County. The resolution declaring the county to be a guns rights sanctuary was proposed by Board Chairman Hildy Angius.
The purpose of the resolution is to send a message that the county will oppose any state or federal measures that would restrict a citizen’s right to bear arms.
“There is traction to implement gun control laws, even here in Arizona,” Angius said. “I refuse to let that happen here in Mohave County without a fight.”
In part, the resolution states:
The Board affirms its support of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and declares Mohave County a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. This Board will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing laws that unconstitutionally infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.
Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster supports the resolution, according to the press release.
“The day they outlaw guns is the day your Sheriff becomes an outlaw,” Schuster said.
The measure has also found support with Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar and state Sen. Sonny Borrelli and Rep. Leo Biasiucci. Each Republican has told the supervisors they will fight gun control legislation on the state and federal level.
Mohave County is not alone in pronouncing itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary. While the first county in Arizona to do so, in the past week, counties in Texas and Florida had made similar declarations.
While such a measure may be questionable to some, Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson said such resolutions aren’t new.
“I don’t think it’s new that local governments feel the need to state what the majority of the citizens believe,” he said.
While Washington County hasn’t made any declarations of being a Second Amendment Sanctuary, Iverson said the County Commission has passed resolutions in the past related to public lands issues and sentiments of federal overreach in that regard.
However, nearly 20 years ago Virgin’s Town Council passed a measure declaring every citizen should own a firearm. At the time, it was estimated that a majority of the residents already had a firearm in their home.
Later, in 2013, the Utah Sheriffs Association sent an open letter to then-President Barack Obama declaring they would protect the right of the residents within their respective counties against any federal efforts to curtail the Second Amendment and Bill of Rights in general.
“No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights — in particular Amendment II — has given them,” the sheriffs’ letter stated. “We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.”
With the exception of then-Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder, every Utah sheriff signed the letter.
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