A new group is forming in Pine County. Pine County For the Second Amendment is a group of county residents looking to make Pine County a “sanctuary county” for second amendment rights. Eight Minnesota counties have already passed resolutions declaring themselves a sanctuary against any new gun legislation. The Kanabec County Board recently voted in a resolution declaring themselves a Second Amendment “dedicated” county.
Two pieces of gun control legislation are being pushed by the DFL in the House: A “Red Flag” bill and a bill to enforce universal background checks on all gun purchases. Groups such as Pine County for the Second Amendment are leading grassroots efforts across the state to prohibit the enforcement of any new gun laws which they believe will infringe upon Constitutional rights.
Red flag laws are gun control laws that allow police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves. Refusal to comply with the order is punishable as a criminal offense. Bills proposing laws such as these were just passed by the House Ways and Means Committee on February 20.
The second piece of legislation being considered moves for universal background checks for any firearms purchasers, including private sales. Currently, federal law requires background checks (through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System) only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers. The current federal law allows people not “engaged in the business” of selling firearms to sell firearms without a license or records.
Pine County For the Second Amendment organizer Barry Burch, said in an interview, “As a former law enforcement officer, in my opinion it (red flag laws) violates not only the Second Amendment, but your Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure and the Fifth Amendment right of due process.”
Senator Jason Rarick and Representative Nathan Nelson have shown support in Kanabec County with their signatures on a letter sent to the county board. That letter reads:
Anti-Second Amendment legislation has been making headlines across the nation. With this national backdrop, we respectfully urge the Kanabec County Board of Commissioners to consider adopting language that would make the county a Second Amendment sanctuary county.
Nearly 400 counties across the United States have adopted laws or resolutions to prohibit or impede the enforcement of certain gun control measures that would violate the Second Amendment, including universal background checks and bans on modern sporting rifles. In addition to counties, several states have also taken steps to protect the Second Amendment rights of their citizens.
As legislators, we are committed to working hard to protect and fortify the Second Amendment at the state level. In the meantime, we encourage you, Kanabec’s leaders, to provide leadership at the county level by upholding the Second Amendment rights our shared constituents enjoy thanks to our cherished Constitution.
Your response to our request to make Kanabec County a Second Amendment sanctuary is eagerly anticipated. Please let us know if we can assist in any way, including providing draft language that can serve as a model for local implementation.
The letter was also signed by Rep. Sondra Erickson of District 15A and Sen. Andrew Mathews of District 15.
“We have plenty of existing laws that make sense and we can work with,” said Burch. “We don’t need to add anything to it, there is nothing broken.”
Burch has sent a proposed resolution to the Pine County Board of Commissioners. As of press time it was not clear when the subject will be on the agenda or open for public comment. For more information on when the topic will be on the agenda, check the Pine County website at http://www.co.pine.mn.us/government/administrator/county_board_agendas_and_minutes.php