A resolution to make Adams County a “Second Amendment sanctuary” was passed unanimously by the Adams County Board of Supervisors Monday, vice chair Doug Birt said.
“We actually had it on the agenda the prior week and had discussion. Everybody was in favor of that, but we didn’t have it as an action item,” he said. “We took action yesterday.”
The resolution states Adams County will protect constitutional gun ownership rights despite any new laws that may violate the Second Amendment. Birt said the board heard from several members of the community who were concerned about their constitutional rights.
“Everybody made the case that it’s sad that we even have to talk about this,” he said. “There’s people in our community concerned that our rights will be infringed upon. They wanted us to take this action to basically make a statement that we are in favor of the Second Amendment. Our citizens have the right to own firearms of their choosing.”
Concerns of First Amendment rights also came up during the meeting.
“That was talked about, how both of these amendments are important to our citizens of Adams County,” said Birt. “They felt that even our Second Amendment right was sort of [tied to] our First Amendment right of speaking out and saying, ‘Hey, this is what we believe here. This is what we want.’”
The Iowa Firearms Coalition, the most prominent state level gun rights activist group in Iowa, was the driving force behind similar resolutions passed in Jasper and Hardin Counties. IFC’s chairman, Michael Ware, hailed the board members as “heroes” for passing the measure.
“Kudos and congrats to the Board of Supervisors in Adams County for standing on the virtues of the Second Amendment of the United States [Bill of Rights]!” Ware wrote in a blog post on the group’s website. “Thank you to Bobbi Baker-Maynes (chair), Douglas Birt (vice chair), Scott Akin, Merlin Dixon and Leland Shipley for their votes and display of courage.”
Ware said there are widespread misconceptions about the purpose of these resolutions. He said they’re meant to be statements expressing strict solidarity with the Second Amendment.
“There are many people that I think have the wrong impression. They’re claiming, ‘Oh they’re [the resolutions] saying they are going to undo laws, that they’re not going to enforce the laws,’” Ware said. “That’s not what these people are doing. They’re saying that when it gets out of hand and when it’s inappropriate, they’re going to question it.”
Ware also said he wants to see the Second Amendment enshrined into the State of Iowa’s Constitution.
“Iowa is one of only six states in the entire nation that doesn’t have a right to keep and bear arms expressed or enumerated anywhere in our Constitution or any amendments,” he said. “So that’s a pretty big deal when you think about it.”