More than 150 people showed up to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Wednesday in Cottonwood. Most of them were there to express support of a resolution to make Yavapai County a Sanctuary County in regards to Second Amendment issues.
Besides the full chamber, a crowd was standing outside in the lobby. There was also an overflow room that was full.
So, what is a Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution? It is a commitment by the jurisdiction, in this case, Yavapai County, to not use resources to enforce any gun control measures that are considered to be in violation of the Second Amendment.
Why is this a concern now?
Many states, as well as the federal government, are considering “red flag” gun control laws. Typically, a “red flag law” allows police or family members to petition a court to confiscate weapons if they present a danger to themselves or others.
People advocating Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions are concerned that red flag laws are too vague and can be misused and hamper the right to due process of individuals.
Although many people stood up to speak in favor of a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution, perhaps the most moving was Rose Sperry from Cottonwood, who said,
“It was not gun violence that killed our daughter Michelle, our only daughter, in 1984 at the McDonald’s massacre in San Ysidro, California. It was a human being, not a gun. It took the SWAT team 20 minutes to show up. Meanwhile, 21 people were murdered by a man and not a gun. We often have wondered through the years since we lost our daughter how things would have turned out if people in that restaurant had been permitted to carry something to protect them. Maybe not all those lives, those 21 lives, would not have been wasted like our daughter’s. I ask you all today to honor the memory of my daughter and all those other children that have lost their lives since then and prior to then, in schools and restaurants and theaters, that you honor them and respect their memory by passing this resolution that we will present today."
(Sperry’s statement starts at 48:25.The video is a recording of the full Supervisor’s meeting, except for a short break after the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution issue, which starts at 20:00 and ends at 1:05:05.)
Representative Paul Gosar sent a letter, which was read to the Supervisors by his District Director Penny Pew.
Marion Lynam was the only one who spoke against the resolution and was booed by many in the audience. She turned around and pointed out that she was respectful of them when they spoke, and she thought it was fair that she be respected, too. “Not everyone can agree on this issue,” she said.
After everyone from the audience had spoken, John Mitchell, Drake Mitchell and Myrna Lieberman made a presentation to the Board.
County Supervisor Craig Brown will be the Chairman of the Board in 2020. After the meeting, Brown explained that they will take the suggestions proposed by constituents and incorporate many of them in a resolution to be voted on at the January 2, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting in Prescott.
Many states and other jurisdictions have already adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions. If the Yavapai Board of Supervisors vote in favor of such a resolution, it will be the 2nd county in Arizona to do so.
States with Second Amendment protections and preservations:
These states have local jurisdictions with Second Amendment protections:
- Arizona - One county: Mohave
- California - One city: Needles
- Colorado - 38 out of 64 counties, 3 cities, 3 towns
- Florida - 14 out of 67 counties
- Illinois - 67 out of 102 counties, 2 cities, 3 townships
- Kentucky - 1 out of 120 counties
- Maine- 1 town, Paris Town
- Maryland - 3 out of 23 counties
- Nevada - 10 out of 16 counties; All 17 sheriffs in Nevada have signed a letter expressing their support for the Second Amendment
- New Jersey - 1 Township
- New Mexico - 26 out of 33 counties, 6 cities, 1 town. (Taos originally passed the resolution, but later repealed it.) 30 out of 33 Sheriffs have signed a letter by the New Mexico Sheriffs Association
- New York - 52 out of 62 counties have voted in favor of resolutions opposing the SAFE Act, a state gun control act. 1 out of 62 counties and 1 town have adopted resolutions against some gun control.
- North Carolina - 2 out of 100 counties
- Ohio - 1 out of 88 counties
- Oregon - 14 out of 36 counties
- Rhode Island - 10 out of 31 towns, 0 out of 8 cities (counties do not have a local government agency)
- Tennessee - 12 out of 95 counties, 1 town
- Texas - 37 out of 254 counties, 1 city and 1 town
- Virginia - 85 out of 95 counties, 10 out of 38 independent cities, 19 towns
- Washington State - 25 out of 39 counties, 1 city has sheriffs that have vowed not to enforce gun control legislation while it is being challenged in court
- Wisconsin - 1 out of 72 counties