Polk is first county in state to be ‘gun sanctuary’

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 4/21/19

Polk County has joined a growing list of "sanctuary counties" (and cities) across the nation that are taking a stand of refusal regarding new state and federal,  gun control laws.At Thursday …

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Polk is first county in state to be ‘gun sanctuary’

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Polk County has joined a growing list of "sanctuary counties" (and cities) across the nation that are taking a stand of refusal regarding new state and federal,  gun control laws.

At Thursday evening's Polk County Commission meeting at the Copper Basin Community Center, the county's nine commissioners voted 8-1 to adopt a resolution declaring Polk a gun sanctuary county.

Thus far, Polk is the first county in Tennessee to take such action.

Cherokee County, N.C., (around Murphy), became the first county in that state to become a gun sanctuary, when it approved a similar resolution in early March.

The Polk resolution was based on the Cherokee document, and submitted by Commissioner Jeremy Kimsey.

A motion for approval was made Thursday night by Commissioner Sara Trentham, with a second from Commissioner Debbie Davis. Commissioner James Woody was the only 'No" vote.

National publicity concerning the issue and growing support, said it appears small rural, conservative communities are pushing back against state legislatures that have been approving new firearm restrictions at a rapid rate since the February 2018 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla..

More than 200 counties across nine states have vowed not to enforce new state measures that restrict gun access, and 132  have voted to become gun sanctuaries.

For gun rights supporters, it’s a defiant rebuff to state leaders they believe are attacking their communities’ gun heritage and way of life.

This national effort has not yet created direct action, but the movement is gaining momentum, and has been challenged in the court in Illinois.

Many question whether the resolutions are constitutionality legal, leading to the Illinois challenge.

Except for 52 counties in New York and three in Maryland, which acted in 2013 after their states passed new legislation following the Sandy Hook mass shooting, all of the counties have made their declarations since the Parkland shooting just over a year ago.

In New Mexico, the Democratic-controlled state government enacted a new law in March requiring background checks for firearm purchases.
But the month before, as state leaders considered the measure, 29 of 33 county sheriffs signed a letter declaring they would oppose any new state laws that “restrict the rights” of New Mexicans to own firearms.
The chairman of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association, Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, said  the newly enacted background check measure and other proposals being debated in New Mexico were “unenforceable, overreaching, unconstitutional and a gun grab.” 

Twenty-five New Mexico boards of county commissioners adopted  sanctuary resolutions after their sheriffs took a public stance against the proposed gun control laws, and the effort has spread nationwide  from there ... all the way to Polk County.

Other resolutions have been approved in Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, and now Tennessee.

The resolutions have yet to draw widespread public scrutiny, or comment, but increased attention is anticipated.

Regarding gun control advocates, who might point out the shootings and mass killings across the nation and around the world, The Polk County resolution includes  a clause to the pro-resolution stance.

It says, “The criminal misuse of firearms is due to the fact that criminals do not obey laws, and this is not a reason to abrogate or abridge the unalienable, constitutionally guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens."

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