On Monday, March 11, during the public comment section of the regular meeting of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners, a group of citizens presented what they called the “2nd Amendment Protection Ordinance” to the board. The group is calling for the board to nullify any federal legislation that would, in their eyes, “restrict” the right to keep and bear arms.
Jon Nance, a candidate for a seat on the Board of Commissioners himself last year and a spokesman for the Libertarian Party of Randolph County, presented the act to the board at the beginning of the public comment section. According to his statements, the act is designed to prevent any federal or state law that may prevent access to firearms from being enforced in Randolph County. A similar measure was passed in Davidson County recently.
After Mr. Nance’s comments, Randolph County manager Richard Wells urged the board to “take this seriously”, saying that he doesn't want it to simply be forgotten. Recently considered legislation in states like Colorado, as well as standing legislation in places such as Detroit, Chicago, and New York City, has given rise to a greater to push nationwide to have local elected officials take preemptive action against things like weapons bans and enhanced weapon registrations. The act presented by Mr. Nance is one being promoted by the Tenth Amendment Center, a group focused on the issue of states’ rights.
One speaker who rose, a sheriff’s deputy for Randolph County, reminded those in attendance that a 2008 Supreme Court ruling spelled out the case for why the federal government was not legally able to confiscate firearms from law abiding citizens. Afterwards, Adam Brooks, the chairman for the Libertarian Party of Randolph County and also a former candidate for a commissioner seat, rose to say that the act was a way for the county officials to say that they would not attempt to restrict the right to bear arms and that they would stand against any entity that did. Mr. Brooks then asked for anyone in attendance who supported the measure to please stand. Roughly 30 people stood, about half those in the room.
Mr. Brooks also stated that the act would largely be symbolic in nature. By law, the county officials have no say in who can or cannot carry a weapon in the county or what kind of weapon is allowed. Supporters of the act say they are looking for elected officials to take a side on the issue more than anything else.
After the meeting, Eric Hicks, who is planning a run for sheriff of Randolph County next year, told a group of supporters for the act that this was not a matter for the board to worry over, saying instead that citizens need to instead ask their officials to simply uphold their oaths of office.
A video of the proceedings can be found here.