The county commissioners and Sheriff Duane Burgess stopped short of declaring Johnson County a Second Amendment sanctuary, but declared that county resources would not be used to enforce laws that infringe on gun rights.
Burgess was asked by residents to clarify his stance on the issue, so he put his thoughts to paper in a legal document as a promise to county residents, he said. “The people have rights and must be protected, and people must know where their elected sheriff and officials stand,” Burgess said. “People have the right to protect themselves and their property. They have the right to keep and bear arms.” Locally, the ordinance declares, “Johnson County shall be a county in which the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms is deeply honored and protected against unlawful infringement; and that the Johnson County Commissioners and Johnson County Sheriff hereby declare their opposition to any law or regulation that unlawfully infringes upon the right to keep and bear arms, and it shall, therefore, be the policy of the Johnson County commissioners and the Johnson County sheriff not to utilize county resources in a manner that unlawfully infringes upon the right to keep and bear arms.” The 2013 ordinance did not include a pledge from the sheriff to not enforce laws that infringe on gun rights such as a mass gun seizure, instead saying the commissioners would oppose rights infringements they believe are contrary to the constitution. The new resolution cements the county’s commitment further, with Burgess’s declaration that any such laws would not be enforced. [full article]