Michigan County Considers Passing Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution
In Dickinson County, Michigan, the debate over becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary is heating up. Over half of Michigan’s counties have already embraced such resolutions, pledging support for the right to bear arms. The Dickinson County Republican Committee (DCRC) is seeking a resolution that specifically addresses Michigan’s new safe storage laws and “red flag laws” (extreme risk protection orders).
The DCRC presented its proposed resolution to the county board but the board has not taken any action yet. The county is seeking legal advice to assess potential liabilities associated with adopting this language. While county commissioners lack the authority to dictate what laws sheriffs or judges enforce, sanctuary resolutions serve as signals of resistance to gun control.
Back in February 2020, the Dickinson board expressed its support for gun rights but didn’t fully commit to a Second Amendment sanctuary declaration.
The DCRC’s proposed resolution introduces a new element – a budgetary component. It states that the county board “will not appropriate any funds for any enforcement of unconstitutional laws against the people of Dickinson County.” The intent is clear: the county will not fund the enforcement of laws that are deemed unconstitutional.
Teresa Maycroft, a member of the DCRC, pointed out the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, which upheld an individual’s right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
The safe storage and universal background check laws, signed into effect by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in April, are set to take effect early next year. These laws require gun owners to keep their firearms locked or unloaded around minors, with the aim of ensuring their safety. However, critics argue that this makes firearms less accessible for self-defense.
Additionally, Michigan also approved a red flag law in May, which allows for the removal of firearms from individuals at risk of harming themselves or others. The DCRC contends that red flag laws infringe upon due process rights.
At a recent meeting, many citizens expressed support for the DCRC’s resolution. They urged commissioners to resist what they see as “illegal and unconstitutional gun laws” and reminded them of the “lesser magistrate doctrine,” which has a long history dating back to the 1500s. According to this doctrine, commissioners have a duty to “stand between tyranny” and protect their citizens’ constitutional rights.
The debate is far from over, as Dickinson County grapples with the balance between state laws and the perceived infringement on Second Amendment rights.