WAYNE COUNTY, PA — Second Amendment sanctuary is the name given to any state, county, or other locality in the U.S. that has adopted laws or resolutions that oppose, or purport to prohibit or …
WAYNE COUNTY, PA — Second Amendment sanctuary is the name given to any state, county, or other locality in the U.S. that has adopted laws or resolutions that oppose, or purport to prohibit or impede, enforcement of certain gun control measures proposed or adopted at state and/or federal levels.
Originally an outgrowth of the “constitutional sheriffs movement,” in which rural county sheriffs publicly declared a refusal to enforce new gun laws, Second Amendment sanctuaries have recently increased exponentially and now include some states with more urban and suburban demographics. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms and the same right extended to citizenry by states: the amendment is expressly for arming a government-sponsored militia. A state’s right of citizenry to bear arms is solely for the purpose of personal protection, including self-defense and defense of one’s home, family and property.
At the April 19 meeting of the Berlin Township Board of Supervisors, a young man, Dalton Derrick, in the gallery of that live, in-person meeting, came forward with a petition requesting that the township adopt a resolution upholding Second Amendment rights. He informed the board that, if it did so, it would be joining neighboring Dyberry and Damascus Townships, both of which recently adopted similar (if not identically worded) resolutions, thereby presenting a united Second Amendment sanctuary front in Wayne County.
“I certainly believe in this,” said Berlin supervisor Cathy Hunt. “I just want to check with Dyberry supervisors to see if they would object to our using their resolution wording as a model for our resolution.”
The other two Berlin supervisors needed no persuasion. Charlie Gries said that, if no one else had introduced a resolution to that effect, he would have done so himself. To prove it, he flashed a paper with suggested wording. Rob Mahon immediately seconded Gries’ intent. Hunt promised to draft a resolution and have it ready for adoption at next month’s board meeting.
Township resolutions exert no force of law. Neither laws nor ordinances, they are merely indicators of the political will of the township’s current supervisors and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the will of their constituents. Nevertheless, they serve as political barometers to county, state and federal politicians seeking to define party platform issues and develop legislation accordingly.
Second Amendment rights were not the only rights Berlin was asked to espouse along with its Dyberry and Damascus neighbors. Damascus Township has initiated a lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Committee (DRBC), charging it with violation of landowner rights, including but not limited to the mineral rights denied by the DRBC’s recent decision to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Delaware River Basin. Dyberry has reportedly joined Damascus in the suit. Berlin was invited to join as well.
Although the supervisors appeared to be sympathetic to the suit, Hunt noted that the deadline for joining it, March 30, had already passed, thereby stopping any discussion of doing so.
5/5/21 * This story was edited to delete the assertion, "The amendment is expressly for arming a government-sponsored militia."
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