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Jackson County becomes Second Amendment Sanctuary

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By Jeremiah Shaver
Jan 22, 2020 Updated Jan 28, 2020

JACKSON — The Jackson County Board of Commissioners have passed a resolution to protect the right to bear arms in Jackson County, “even if state and federal laws are passed restricting ownership or possession” of firearms.

A large crowd of citizens from across Jackson County attended the Jan. 22 meeting of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to hear them discuss the topic of counties in southern Ohio becoming Second Amendment Sanctuaries.

A Second Amendment Sanctuary, also known as a gun sanctuary, refers to states, counties or other locations in the United States that have adopted resolutions to say that they don’t agree with the enforcement of certain gun control measures that are perceived to violate the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Jackson County Commissioner President Paul Haller, Jackson County Commissioner Vice President Ed Armstrong, and Jackson County Commissioner Jon Hensler were prepared for the crowd and had a resolution ready in hand. The resolution was drawn up by Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Lovett, and Hensler.

The commissioners noted that their resolution was inspired by recent events regarding gun control in Virginia. On Jan. 20, a gun-rights rally was held in Richmond, Virginia, that brought thousands of people from across the country to protest for and against gun control.

Prior to adopting the resolution, Hensler wanted to take time to explain what the resolution meant for Jackson County. 

“First, it’s important to understand that County Commissioners do not set the law,” explained Hensler. “We do not make the law from this office, now we may take positions or stances on certain issues including proposed law, but we do not legislate from this office, a Commissioner doesn’t do that.”

Hensler added, “I want to make clear today, that by this resolution, we are not attempting to supersede the current law of the land. Rather, we are vowing to the citizens to uphold and support our current law to its fullest measure. Understand, our state and county are governed by the U.S. Constitution, the Ohio State Constitution and consequently counties adhere to the Ohio Revised Code. We are here to reaffirm that.”

Hensler noted that beckons a question: “If today’s resolution doesn’t set a law for Jackson County, then why do a resolution?”

“It’s an important and relevant issue for people,” stated Hensler. “It’s an important issue, period. So, while today’s resolution, if passed, in and of itself, does not become a law because the law already exists, it does serve a few other purposes.”

Hensler continued, “First, it shows support and signifies to the people of Jackson County that its Board of Commissioners stand in full agreement to the rights afforded to the citizens of this country and county not only from the Constitution of the United States, but also the Constitution of the State of Ohio, and that we hold the position those rights in their current form should not be infringed upon.”

He explained that the resolution also sends a message to those that represent Jackson County beyond the county level that the Commissioner support such a position.

“Why is this important?” Hensler said, “Because those folks do in fact formulate the laws that affect our lives.”

Following Hensler’s brief explanation, he made a motion to adopt the proposed resolution. Armstrong seconded the motion. All three voted “yes” to adopt the resolution.
Those in attendance broke into applause.

Haller stated that the resolution was near and dear to his heart because he has served this country, while Armstrong reminded everyone that each and every one of the 27 Amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America needs to be looked after because if one falls, more would follow.

Resolution 19-20 states that the Commissioners intend to uphold, protect, and oppose any restriction on the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Jackson County, even if state and federal laws, are passed restricting ownership or possession.

Jackson County now joins Lawrence, Meigs, and Scioto Counties in southern Ohio who have passed similar resolutions. Neighboring Vinton County is in the process of passing a resolution, as well.
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