Lake County approves Second Amendment sanctuary resolution
LAKE COUNTY -- Lake County became the latest in a series of Michigan counties to approve a resolution in support of Second Amendment sanctuary status.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners (BOC) unanimously approved a resolution declaring Lake County a "Second Amendment sanctuary county" at its meeting Feb. 26.
The public came out in support of the resolution, filling the board's chamber and responding with applause when the resolution was passed.
Prior to the vote, Lake County resident Faith Steketee thanked the board for considering the resolution, saying the reason she supports it is because she has relatives whose names are on the wall of the Holocaust Museum for what they did during World War II.
"They were disarmed at the beginning of the war and were left helpless," Steketee said. "They risked their lives, and I am very proud of them. We live in an isolated community and need to be able to protect ourselves, so I hope you will support this resolution.
"I have a petition with more than 200 signatures in favor of the resolution," she continued.
Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin told the board that whether or not the resolution passed, he would not enforce any laws that would endanger the safety of his officers going out and taking guns, or that would infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms.
"I think it is great that so many showed up here," Martin said. "I think it makes it known exactly how the people feel when it comes to the county and their right to own firearms. It's nice that you want this to pass, but at the end of the day, it is not going to change anything from the way I see it."
The resolution reads, "whereas it is the desire of this board to declare its support of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and to the provisions of the Michigan Constitution which protect Lake County citizens' individual rights to bear arms, and each Lake County Commissioner took an oath to support the United States Constitution and the Michigan Constitution, it is hereby resolved that the county is declared a 'Second Amendment sanctuary county.'"
The resolution further states that the board affirms its support for the Lake County Sheriff and the Lake County Prosecuting Attorney to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms law against any citizen.
Former BOC member Larry Collier told the board that a similar resolution had been passed by the board in 2013.
"I thought it was something worth doing then, and I think you are doing a good job now," Collier said. "My recommendation is that you send a copy of the resolution to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, our state senator, MAC (Michigan Association of Counties) and the county clerks' association."
"Second Amendment sanctuary" refers to states, counties or localities that have adopted laws or resolutions to prohibit or impede the enforcement of certain gun laws considered to be unconstitutional, such as universal background checks, high-capacity magazine bans, assault weapons bans and "red flag" laws.
Several other Michigan counties have recently passed similar resolutions, including Osceola County. Mecosta County commissioners plan to take up the issue at their meeting March 5.
The Michigan House of Representatives recently voted to affirm its support of the Second Amendment, stopping short of naming Michigan a gun rights "sanctuary" but declaring its intent to protect the Constitutional right to bear arms through the passage of House Resolution 227.
Resolutions are non-binding and do not have a direct impact on existing laws, but can be used by government bodies as a statement of priorities or to declare intentions.