No Label Here: "Gun Sanctuary"

PHOTO: In case of a mass-casualty situation, Laurens County EMS now has a trailer that can carry on-site, equipment and supplies to treat 50 wounded people. - Chronicle Photo


Laurens County will not offer gun owners “sanctuary”



Saying it’s not the right label for the county to have, a majority of Laurens County Council decided last Tuesday not to opt out of a federal gun measure calling for mandatory background checks, if the bill passes Congress.

Council member Stewart Jones brought the two-page, 19-point “Gun Sanctuary” resolution to the council. Members got a chance before the March 26 meeting to look at it; but had it passed as a resolution, it would have taken just one reading to become official Laurens County policy.

At its conclusion, the document says, “...Laurens County will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of any element of such acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules or regulations, that infringe on the right by the people to keep and bear arms as described and defined in detail above.”

Who would decide the “infringement” was not spelled out in the document.

“I read what Stewart presented. I think it’s OK,” Council Vice-chairman Joe Wood said.

Jones, Wood and Kemp Younts voted to pass the resolution. Council Chairman Dr. David Pitts and members Jeffrey Carroll, Diane Anderson and Garrett McDaniel voted “no”.

Jones said any public official who took an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution is obligated to vote in favor of the resolution.

Pitts read the oath of office he took and said, “If I vote in the negative, which I intend to do, that does not mean I don’t support the Constitution.

Jones is the Republican nominee for the vacant SC House District 14 seat. The Democratic nominee for the same seat, McDaniel, indicated he did not want to be portrayed as anti-Second Amendment. He said, “I am a gun owner. I have a gun in my truck right now. I pledged an oath, but there is a stigma attached to being a ‘gun sanctuary’.”

Carroll said, “We are trying to move Laurens County forward. I don’t think attaching ‘gun sanctuary‘ is where I want to be. In this state we have Home Rule, we cannot do anything against the Constitution or state law.”

Jones said Nazis and Soviets started their moves to oppressive governments by confiscating guns, and the American Jim Crow laws restricted gun ownership by black people. “This limits the power of the government to go after the guns.”

Jones said a similar resolution has been adopted in Cherokee County, N.C., in multiple Colorado counties, and in Columbia and Josephine Counties in Oregon. The matter is coming up now because the U.S. House has passed HR8 requiring mandatory background checks for gun purchases.

The bill closes the so-called “Charleston loophole”.

That allowed white supremacist Dylann Roof the chance to acquire the gun he used to kill nine African-Americans, including a state legislator, in Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The man who allegedly killed 51 Muslims worshipping in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, said on social media he was influenced by Roof’s “writings” about white supremacy. Facebook announced this week it will remove any white supremacist or white nationalist writings on the popular social media site.

President Trump is expected to veto HR8 if it passes the U.S. Senate in its present form.


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