The Guilford County commissioners over the years have shied away from addressing controversial issues unless those issues were thrust upon them and they were cornered into making a decision.
However, on Thursday, March 19, the Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a resolution that could lead to some discussion and controversy – “Declaring support for protection of Second Amendment rights.”
Some of the Republican Guilford County commissioners are gun advocates – complete with concealed carry permits in their pockets. However, over the years, the board has stayed away almost entirely from the subject. But at the commissioners March 19 meeting, the board will read – and is expected to adopt – the new resolution supporting gun ownership.
The motivation for doing so now is that the board “wishes to express its deep commitment to protecting all Constitutional rights of Guilford County citizens and stands opposed to any law, regulation or other act that would unconstitutionally infringe on the citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”
The coming adoption of the resolution doesn’t change any county laws, but it does make an appeal to the NC General Assembly and the US Congress “to use all of their powers and authority to protect our citizens’ freedom under the Constitution and specifically the Second Amendment.”
In recent years, in the wake of a host of high-profile mass shootings, there’s been a movement to curtail gun rights as a way to stop violence.
Others, like Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips have argued publically that a “good guy with a gun” can help prevent violence.
District 4 Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson, whose district includes much of the rural eastern part of the county, will be reading the resolution that reaffirms the board’s support of American’s rights to own and bear guns. Branson knows a thing or two about guns and he’s been seen with one strapped to his side on certain occasions.
Phillips is also a gun advocate and he was largely responsible for some gun training programs for county citizens several years ago after a rash of shootings nationwide made it clear that ordinary citizens needed some way to protect themselves from the threats that can pop up suddenly at any school, workplace or social event.
The resolution that’s expected to be adopted Thursday night reads, “Whereas, it is recognized that the Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of our nation; and, whereas the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states, ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed;’ and, whereas, the Supreme Court of the United States has, through multiple rulings, upheld an individual’s right to keep and bear arms when federal, state, and local laws sought to restrict this right….
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners declares that Guilford County government will use all powers and authority to defend and protect the rights of all of our citizens.”
According to the resolution, the supremacy of the US Constitution over other law was well established in 1803 by the US Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Marbury v. Madison – as well as by the fact that the Declaration of Independence states that people have “God given rights of liberty and personal security.”
The new resolution also points out that the Guilford County Commissioners have taken an oath to defend and uphold the US Constitution as well as the state’s constitution.