LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to declare the county a “Second Amendment Sanctuary."
“The citizens of the United States have the right to keep and bear arms," County Commissioners Chairman Carrol Mitchem said. "That’s not hard to understand in my opinion.”
Mitchem says this vote signifies a desire to defend that right.
The resolution states that “the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners hereby expresses its intent to uphold the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Lincoln County and that public funds, resources, employees, buildings or offices not be used to restrict Second Amendment rights or to aid or assist in the enforcement of the unnecessary and unconstitutional restriction of the rights under the Second Amendment of the citizens of Lincoln County to keep and bear arms.”
“If the state or even the federal government comes down with additional regulations, it’s gonna say that Lincoln County is not gonna come forth with that and it’s gonna be hard to take guns in Lincoln County,” Mitchem said.
It does not change any regulations currently in place.
Commissioner Richard Permenter had to be convinced before voting yes with the other commissioners.
“I viewed this resolution as pointless because it’s completely outside the purview of Lincoln County government,” Permenter said.
But ultimately he saw it as an opportunity for education.
“This is an issue that’s defined by the extremes on both sides and this at least makes a statement that perhaps encourages some dialogue among moderate people,” he said.
Some people living in Lincoln County say they are thankful for the protective measure. One gun owner says she has used her weapon to ward off burglars.
“I was to able to keep the person from entering the house," she said.
Commissioner Mitchem wants people and politicians to know where the county stands.
“We are gonna stand by our guns, come hell or high water," he said.
The vote came after a petition on Change.org calling for the resolution was signed by thousands of people calling for commissioners “to ensure that no attempts to disarm Lincoln county residents will be tolerated.”
Lincoln County is one of hundreds of Second Amendment, or gun, sanctuary counties, cities and ordinances across the country, with several in the Carolinas.