Ward County Commission tables 2nd Amendment resolution

Petitioner objects to ‘watered down’ draft

JIll Schramm/MDN Travis Zablotney speaks to the Ward County Commission Tuesday about a Second Amendment resolution.

At least one gun rights supporter says a draft of a Ward County resolution supporting the Second Amendment needs stronger language.

The Ward County Commission tabled the resolution Tuesday, postponing public input until its next meeting on Aug. 3, but not until after Minot resident Travis Zablotney voiced his concern that the proposed resolution is a “watered down” document.

The commission received petitions earlier this month from residents asking that Ward County be declared a gun sanctuary county. The number of signatures on the petition currently are at around 7,000.

Commissioners had directed the state’s attorney to draft a resolution to provide for Second Amendment support while upholding current laws related to gun possession by felons or others barred for legal reasons.

Zablotney objected to the resolution presented Tuesday.

“There’s nothing for you to vote on here because all it’s really doing is restating what our Constitution, both federally and the state, (say) is the law of the land. The resolution basically just says the Ward County commissioners are a Second Amendment advocate,” he said. “The bottom line is there is absolutely nothing in here that would resolve to defend our Second Amendment rights. The group of people that circulated and signed the petition did so on the basis that our county would defend our Second Amendment rights; our sheriff would defend our Second Amendment rights, not just agree with the federal and state constitutions.”

He said the county needs to specify that it will not enforce certain illegal and unconstitutional gun control measures enacted by other governmental bodies.

“The resolution should state that federal, state or municipal actions that contravene individual’s Second Amendment rights shall be invalid in the county, shall not be recognized by the county, shall be expressly rejected by the county and shall not be entered by the county,” he said.

Zablotney said there are 1,930 Second Amendment sanctuary counties in the United States.

“61.36% of the counties in the U.S. are saying Second Amendment sanctuaries, not Second Amendment advocates,” he said.

The resolution declares Ward County a “Second Amendment Advocate.” It notes that certain state and federal legislation could have the effect of infringing on the rights of law-abiding citziens to keep and bear arms and that the Ward County Commission is concerned about passage of such legislation.

“The Ward County Board of Commissioners wishes to express its deep commitment to the rights of all citizens of Ward County to keep and bear Arms, as provided for by the Constitution and the laws of the State of North Dakota,” the resolution reads. “The Ward County Board of Commissioners wishes to express its intent to stand as an Advocate County for the Second Amendment right and oppose, within the limits of the Constitutions of the United States and the State of North Dakota, and the laws of the State of North Dakota, any efforts to unconstitutionally restrict such rights, and to use such legal means at its disposal to protect the right of the citizens to keep and bear Arms, including through legal action, the power of appropriation of public funds, and the right to petition for redress of grievances.”


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