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home : news : news January 17, 2020

1/7/2020 5:37:00 AM
Commissioners Declare Lincoln "Sanctuary" County

Wayne Howard
News Journalist

As expected, Lincoln County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Monday night (Jan. 6th) declaring Lincoln a "Second Amendment Sanctuary" county.

A large crowd applauded several times as Commissioners spoke in favor of and evenatually adopted the resolution.  

Commissioner Rich Permenter first offered a motion to table the resolution until a later meeting: "I only saw this resolution on Friday," Permenter said, "and I haven't had time to consider the ramifications of this action."  

Permenter also asked if adopting the resolution would require doing away with any County rules that might prohibit guns in County buildings.  He was told that no such rules existed.  It is true that the County has no ordinance in place forbidding guns in such locations as the County Administration Building on North Generals Blvd. where Monday's meeting was held; but there are prohibitions against guns on school campuses and in the court house, but those variances weren't addressed.

Permenter added that he didn't like the word "sanctuary" in the resolution.  "That's being used by cities across the country to skirt immigration laws."  Permenter said since the Second Amendment is part of the US Constitution, he considered the resolution pointless.  "This is not in our purveyance," he said.
But when his motion to table the matter failed on a 4-1 vote, Permenter joined the other Commissioners in unanimously passing the resolution.

Commission chairman Carrol Mitchem said his concern was about "when certain other categories of people take over the country" ten years down the road, adding that he believed in "the right to bear arms to oppose any issue that might come up."  

Lincoln joins Rutherford County in having declared itself a "Second Amendment Sanctuary" county.  The movement began in Virginia where a newly elected Democratic majority in the state legislature has vowed to put in place new gun control laws they introduced last year which were sent to committee and never considered by the then-Republican dominated legislature.

The new proposals (although new versions are yet to be introduced) are expected to require universal background checks,  ban assault weapons, silencers and high-capacity magazines  (more than 10 rounds for rifles, more than seven for shotguns), limit the purchases of handguns to no more than one per month, allow local governments like counties, cities & towns to pass local ordinances banning firearms from libraries and other government buildings, require that all thefts of firearms be reported to police within 24 hours after the gun or guns went missing, and prohibit possession of guns by a person under a court-issued protective order.

Over 100 Virginia towns, cities and counties have passed "Second Amendment Sanctuary" resolutions vowing not to enforce the proposed new laws if adopted.

A local group sprang up last week and created a Facebook page pushing for Lincoln to adopt the resolution.  A petition said to bear over 3,000 names was presented to the commissioners at the request of Commissioner Bud Cesena, who read the resolution.

For anyone who hasn't seen it, you can read the resolution at

Commissioners also heard several rezoning requests as a part of their joint meeting with the County Planning Board.  

They'll meet again Friday (9:30 AM - 3:30 PM) for a budget workshop and hold their mid-monthly meeting next Monday (Jan. 13th) at 6:30 PM.  That meeting was moved up a week because the third Monday (the usual day for the mid-monthly meeting) is the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2020
Article comment by: Robert Quinn

I, for one, applaud the decision made by our County Commissioners. I think it represents the views of most everyone in the county.

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