Following suit of other counties in Tennessee, Carter County lawmakers are looking to establish the county as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
Commissioner Mike Hill introduced the resolution at Thursday night’s Health, Education and Welfare Committee, where it passed in a unanimous vote. The resolution will go before the full commission on June 17.
Hill said a constituent contacted him, noting other counties like Blount and Greene that had passed similar resolutions and asked if Carter County could do the same.
He said the move is symbolic but important.
“Any time someone seeks to erode our rights, even if we choose not to exercise them we should make sure we retain them,” he said.
He said work on the resolution was in the works before 12 people died in a shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building. He said the resolution wasn’t formed from a “knee-jerk” reaction to the shooting.
“It has nothing to do with any of these unfortunate events, it’s simply taking part in the nationwide movement supporting the fundamental right to legally own (a firearm),” he said, adding, “It’s a shame, but we always talk about gun control when one of these things happens.”
Commissioner Bob Acuff is the committee chairman who signed off on the resolution, passing it up the ladder to be considered by the county commission.
He said part of the reason the resolution is needed is to “guarantee adherence to the U.S. Constitution” and the state constitution.
He referenced a failed state bill, Senate Bill 1178, a “Red Flag Bill,” that would allow someone to file a petition for an order of “extreme risk protection” against another person that could prohibit that person from purchasing a firearm or ammunition.
Read the proposed Senate Bill 1178 here.
The bill didn’t pass, but Acuff cited it as a reason to pass a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution.
“I think many folks are looking at the overreach of some in the federal government, and we’ve also had that starting to encroach into the Tennessee General Assembly,” he said.
Acuff and Hill said they both expect the bill to pass the full commission with little resistance.