MADISON — Following lengthy discussion earlier this month, the Madison County Board of Commissioners made the county a Second Amendment sanctuary county on Tuesday.
Among other things, the resolution states that the county shall defend the rights and liberties of all county citizens, which are guaranteed by the U.S. and Nebraska constitutions.
It also states that public funds, resources, employees, buildings or offices will not be used to restrict Second Amendment rights or to aid or assist in the enforcement of the unnecessary and unconstitutional restriction of the rights under the Second Amendment.
Troy Uhlir, county board chairman, said he appreciated the effort that went into the resolution. It was written by Sheriff Todd Volk, approved by County Attorney Joe Smith and corrected for punctuation by Anne Pruss, county clerk.
“I think we got a pretty good resolution,” Uhlir said on Tuesday.
Since the last meeting, Uhlir said he received one email from someone who was against it.
Ron Schmidt, another commissioner, voted for it. Commissioner Eric Stinson, who participated in part of the meeting by phone, said he also supported it. Stinson had a knee replaced and needed to attend physical therapy, so he wasn't able to stay for the whole meeting.
Schmidt said the county doesn’t have anything against federal officers.
“Bless them,” Schmidt said. “I don’t like the idea of a federal mandate coming into the county with law-abiding citizens having (their guns taken away).”
The resolution isn’t against federal officers, but protection for law-abiding citizens, Schmidt said.
Uhlir said he echoes Schmidt’s comments.
“I think what we’re doing here is a good thing to protect the rights and protect the Constitution and protect the Constitution of Nebraska. I’m happy to see the state has followed suit and we’ll be happy to put this on our books,” Uhlir said.
Volk said the resolution won’t change anything with state laws or permits. In the past year, there has been a huge increase in handgun permits, he said.
“People just want to protect themselves, which is their right, too,” he said.
Volk said all state laws will still be enforced, including that felons cannot possess guns.
On April 13, the commissioners’ room was full of people attending the meeting to show support for making Madison County a sanctuary county.
State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, a retired Army colonel, urged support for the movement last month. More than half of the state’s counties have become sanctuary counties. In addition, Nebraska and a handful of others have declared themselves “sanctuary states.”
With so many executive orders from President Joe Biden, some of those speaking two weeks ago said they had concerns that Biden might try to state that someone who is against him poses a “threat” or isn’t “mentally stable.” Next, the president might try to have the government take the guns away from them, people said.