Pulaski is latest county to become a 2A sanctuary

Janie Slaven | CJ

Tuesday's meeting of Pulaski County Fiscal Court was standing room only as magistrates approved a 2A Sanctuary resolution supporting citizens' rights to bear arms.

Before a standing-room-only crowd, Pulaski County Fiscal Court approved a resolution declaring the county to be a Second Amendment (2A) Sanctuary.

A more conservative variation of "immigration sanctuaries," where local governments refuse to question individuals on immigration status or assist federal agencies in enforcing immigration laws, the 2A Sanctuary Movement has begun to take hold over the last year as state legislatures (particularly Illinois and Virginia) passed gun control laws which Second Amendment advocates found not only restrictive but unconstitutional. In Kentucky, local governments have been considering the resolutions with the start of the 2020 General Assembly.

The wording 2A Sanctuary resolutions vary but basically express support for a citizen's right to bear arms, particularly in regard to self defense. Like immigration sanctuaries, 2A sanctuaries don't have the authority to actually supercede state or federal law; however, there is an understanding that resources won't be allocated to enforce gun control laws within that jurisdiction.

County Attorney Martin Hatfield read the local resolution, which states in part that "…Pulaski County Fiscal Court is concerned about the passage of any bill containing language which could be interpreted as infringing upon the rights of the citizens of Pulaski County to keep and bear arms." The resolution also referenced the Fiscal Court's "deep commitment" to those rights and "opposition to any law that would unconstitutionally restrict" them, within the limits of the federal and state constitutions.

The resolution passed unanimously and to applause on a motion from District 4 Magistrate Mark Ranshaw and a second by District 5 Magistrate Mike Strunk.

"Certainly we are all very concerned about keeping our constitutional rights," Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley said in welcoming the crowd.

County officials were thanked by David Gardner, a local man speaking on behalf of a statewide group called Kentucky United.

"Today we just showed up as a show of support and appreciation for everything you guys have done," he said. "This means the world to the citizens of Pulaski County and to people statewide."

Most of the crowd left with the resolution's passage but it came up one more time later in the meeting as Pulaski County Sheriff Greg Speck also thanked the Court for their stance "as a gun owner and a sportsman."

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