On Monday morning, the Barton County Commission will consider the adoption of a proclamation naming the county a Second Amendment sanctuary.
“We just want to make sure everyone at the Kansas state level, and nationally, knows where Barton County stands,” said District 3 Commissioner Shawn Hutchinson said. It is Hutchinson who brought up the idea of the declaration this past Monday during a commission study session.
Under the proposal, Barton County is proclaimed as a sanctuary for the Second Amendment. Further, the proclamation states the commission does not condone the creation of any “unlawful and unconstitutional statutes, executive orders or other regulations and proclamations which conflict, and are expressly preempted by, the United States Supreme Court’s rulings on the right of an individual to keep and bear arms.”
“We are trying to reduce their ability to take away all types of weapons,” Hutchinson said. These are, he said, values held dear in rural areas, like western Kansas.
“The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states that, ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,’” Hutchinson said. And the Supreme Court of the United States in two recent cases, District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, has held that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right.
The in 2013, Kansas enacted the Second Amendment Protection Act. This, in part, reads “any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.”
Now, Hutchinson said, the commission has proposed this proclamation to show its commitment to provide such a sanctuary here.
“This wasn’t on my radar,” said District 2 Commissioner Barb Esfeld. “But, I think it is very important.”
The amendment was ratified in December 1791 “and is still very important today,” Esfeld said. “But it’s about more than that.”
It is a matter of respecting the rights of individuals, she said. This involves the Second Amendment, or any other amendment.
“We just have to speak up a whole lot more,” she said.
The proclamation states: “This Board does not condone the creation of any unlawful and unconstitutional statutes, executive orders or other regulations and proclamations which conflict, and are expressly preempted by, the United States Supreme Court’s rulings on the right of an individual to keep and bear arms; and
“Furthermore, the proclamation calls upon Congress, the Kansas governor and all elected officials in the state “to preserve and defend the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States as an individual right of the citizens and to nullify any statutes, executive orders or other regulations and proclamations that infringe on the right of an individual to keep and bear arms.”