With a full chamber of citizens watching, the Scott County Fiscal Court unanimously approved a resolution affirming The U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment rights of citizens to own firearms for traditional lawful purposes.
Scott County’s resolution stopped short of declaring the county a sanctuary for gun control as it would be unenforceable, said Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington. Spurred by actions in the Virginia state legislature, a wave of cities and counties are declaring themselves “sanctuaries” for the Second Amendment, passing resolutions that they say will protect citizens against unconstitutional laws. Some Virginia legislators and the governor have promised a host of stricter gun laws during this legislative session.
Cities and counties in other states, including Kentucky have joined the movement. Twenty-seven Kentucky communities have approved Second Amendment resolutions, but only one — Marshall County — has passed a Second Amendment ordinance and they are reassessing that, Covington said. An ordinance is a law or a piece of legislation. A resolution is a firm opinion, but does not have the weight of an actual law.
“It is my complete belief that everyone on this court stands by the Constitution and the Second and this resolution voices that and shares that same sentiment with our leaders in Frankfort and Washington, (D.C.) as well,” Covington said introducing the resolution.
Brandon Goldie questioned the wording of the resolution asking for a stronger, more direct message.
“What I see is no guarantee of our Constitutional rights,” Goldie said about the county’s resolution. Goldie told the fiscal court his Second Amendment rights were violated, and although he had it expunged the incident cost him $15,000.
“You’ve never walked in my shoes,” Goldie said. “Until you have had your Second Amendment rights violated by a county, you will never understand where I’m coming from. This country is turning upside down. This Second Amendment right is very, very close to our hearts. We don’t have time for games anymore. We shouldn’t even have to be here.”
Others asked for a stronger position and questioned why the fiscal court did not declare the county a Second Amendment “sanctuary.”
“A true sanctuary ordinance would be asking this court to make an ordinance that violates state statutes,” Covington explained. “We cannot do it.”
Magistrate Bill Burke agreed and offered an explanation.
“There is no provision in the Constitution, there is no provision in federal law, there is no provision in state law and there is no provision in county law that allows us to declare ourselves a sanctuary,” Burke said. “And if we declared ourselves a sanctuary county of the Second Amendment, next week someone will want us to declare ourselves a sanctuary of illegal immigration. We don’t have that right to declare ourselves a sanctuary county.
“We enforce the Second Amendment. I carry a concealed weapon permit. I spent 26 years in the Army. I have seen the carnage brought on an unarmed population against an armed government. I have a federal firearms license. I don’t think you will find anyone up here more passionate about this than I am. The problem is what you are asking us to do has no basis in law for what you want. You can say, ‘well they can change the Constitutional Amendment,’ well, sure they can. But that would take a Constitutional Convention and we haven’t had one of those for 200 years. Probably never going to have another one.
“What you are asking us to do has no basis in law, has no emphasis in law. If we declare ourselves a sanctuary county, we can’t enforce it. The sheriff can’t enforce it. So, what you are asking us to do is impossible. We’re affirming your right to the Second Amendment. We can do that. But to ask us to violate federal law and state law is just plain stupid. And I’ve got to tell you stupid has to stop somewhere.”
A full video of the fiscal court meeting can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epUGM9_Xt6M.
Mike Scogin can be reached at email@example.com.