County commissioners approve 2nd Amendment resolution.

February 13, 2020

County commissioners approve 2nd Amendment resolution.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — The Oceana County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Thursday, Feb. 13, targeting support of Second Amendment rights.

Several Michigan municipalities are passing “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions, asserting gun ownership rights and opposition to proposed gun control legislation.

The national movement has taken aim in recent weeks, with hundreds of US municipalities adopting the “sanctuary” title, according to SanctuaryCounties.com.

The resolutions were triggered by the State of Virginia passing red flag gun laws that allow police to confiscate guns from people who are deemed dangerous.

The Oceana board did not adopt the original resolution that contains the “sanctuary” title, however. The resolution states that it is a county that “supports the Second Amendment.” Oceana is one of three counties in Michigan to take this position. Also adopting resolutions without the “sanctuary” title are Alcona and St. Clair counties.

A motion to adopt the original resolution with the “sanctuary” title died 4-3. Voting against that motion were commissioners Dean Gustafson, Larry Byl, Robert Walker and Chairman Denny Powers.

Despite removing “sanctuary” from the resolution, the commissioners’ approval of the amended resolution was followed by applause in the crowded board room.

Counties adopting resolutions with the “sanctuary” designation are: Cheboygan, Kalkaska, Lapeer, Mackinac, Oseola, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle.

There are several other counties considering adopting the resolution “as is,” along with a few that are considering adopting resolutions similar to Oceana’s.

The original resolution was presented to the Oceana County board at its Jan. 23 meeting, and commissioners voted to table it until the language could be “tweaked.”

The resolution is symbolic and has little legal value, said Commissioner Andrew Sebolt, who introduced it.

Several citizens spoke in favor of the resolution including Mike Cook, Everet Horton, Alan Blohm, Rebecca Wentzloff, Kelsey Melchor, Bob Green, Larry Walker, Brian Fessenden and Lori Green.

“We’re on a slippery slope, people,” said Horton. “Look at what has happened in this country in the last 25 years. We need to send a strong message. It’s time to stand up and follow your oath of office.”

“The agenda is not gun control — it’s people control,” said Wentzloff. “I encourage you to accept the resolution as submitted.”

“We have to make a statement — it’s a political statement,” said Bob Green. “We really have to fight fire with fire. It’s gotten to that point in our country. I encourage you to pass this resolution to make Oceana County a sanctuary county.”

“I am not opposing it,” said Commissioner Gustafson. “I am just suggesting to you we have already defined this in our constitution. I have confidence our government will stop this type of thing. I feel that we are protected. We get so polarized over things that are already protected.”

Phyllis Shantz was the sole citizen who voiced her opposition to the resolution, citing “a purely economic argument.” She said that passage of the resolution would “alienate over half the population.”

“Before you take a vote, take a poll of the local businesses,” she said. “They will be losing half their business because potential tourists will see all of us as fanatics.

“That thing called social media will work against you,” she said. “Controversy is not good for business.

“We can’t ignore the fact that our farms are reliant on migrant workers,” she said. “Oceana County doesn’t need any extra reasons for guest workers to choose against us,” she said referring to the resolution as “a radical controversial stand on guns.”

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