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Coming off a successful meeting with local Republicans, Second Amendment sanctuary supporters plan to pack the house at Monday’s Wilson County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Michael McCroskey has spearheaded the movement to see Wilson County join the more than 60 North Carolina counties that have passed resolutions showing support for the right to bear arms.
Sanctuary supporters met with members of the Wilson County GOP on Tuesday. McCroskey said local Republicans were very supportive of his cause.
“It went really well, they were very receptive,” McCroskey said. “I really hope we have a large turnout Monday night.”
McCroskey’s Facebook page supporting a sanctuary in Wilson County has swelled to more than 2,100 members in a month.
In response to McCroskey and news media questions, commissioners issued a statement late last week that says declaring Wilson County a gun rights sanctuary would be redundant because they’ve already sworn to uphold the Constitution, which includes the Second Amendment.
“This oath is comprehensive and legally binding,” according to the statement. “Our oath applies to the entire U.S. Constitution and North Carolina Constitution and all amendments thereto. It is our job to ensure that county government operates in accordance with this oath.”
Chairman Rob Boyette signed the statement and each commissioner’s name is listed beneath a heading that states “On behalf of the Wilson County Board of Commissioners.”
The statement says each commissioner has expressed a commitment to Wilson County residents’ right to keep and bear arms.
“All amendments to the U.S. Constitution have equal standing as the law of the land. To single out one particular amendment could be construed by some as elevating that amendment to a rank superior to others. Supporting, maintaining and defending all of the terms of the U.S. Constitution and the North Carolina Constitution is part of what we do as elected officials serving under the oath we all have taken,” Boyette wrote.
McCroskey said he realizes the resolution wouldn’t interfere with enforcement of any federal or state gun control laws, but he believes the resolution would sends a message to legislators in Raleigh and Washington that Wilson County residents don’t want tax dollars, time and energy spent on laws that restrict or limit Second Amendment rights.
Wilson and neighboring Nash and Edgecombe counties have not passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions, though Pitt, Johnston and Wayne counties have.
More than half of North Carolina’s 100 counties have approved resolutions supporting gun rights. Counties with large urban centers including Wake, Mecklenburg, Guilford and New Hanover haven’t adopted the resolutions, but Forsyth County — home to Winston-Salem, the states’s fourh most-populous city — has.
McCroskey said he knows some folks are opposed to a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.
“I think we have a long, hard fight ahead of us,” McCroskey said after reviewing information from North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.
Sanctuary resolutions could jeopardize public safety by interfering with the implementation of lifesaving gun safety laws, said Becky Ceartas, executive director of the Durham-based nonprofit organization. She called sanctuary resolutions reckless and potentially dangerous.
Another gun control group has set its sights on North Carolina. The Everytown for Gun Safety PAC poured around $2.5 million into Virginia last year to influence gun control legislation. The group has plans to spend at least $250,000 in North Carolina this year, according to information from the group.
Everytown is founded and financed by Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.