ALBION — The Noble County Commissioners decided Monday to work with a group of Second Amendment Sanctuary advocates to draft a resolution that supports honoring Constitutional rights, but stopped short of the ordinance that would make the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary county.
The resolution will be discussed in the April 9 meeting.
Scott Peters, the movement’s spokesman who was joined by about a half dozen supporters, gave the commissioners a ready-made, two-page ordinance. Peters said his group is concerned that their right to bear arms will be infringed on by proponents of stricter gun control. He cited Virginia as an example.
“If anything bad happens, we, the good gun owners, get punished,” Peters said.
Jim Nixon of Kendallville, a retired East Noble principal with 29 years of experience, spoke against the ordinance. Nixon noted that schools have a difficult time keeping out a person with a weapon in spite of the security measures taken since the Columbine shooting. He said an officer with a weapon was not a deterrent to the shooter at Parkland.
Nixon said there are 25 amendments to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to protect voting rights and due process of law.
“I want our county to be a sanctuary for the First Amendment,” he said.
Nixon said he respected the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, but doesn’t “place the Second Amendment higher on the shelf than any other.” He said the Heller case in the U.S. Supreme Court decided the issue of having a firearm in a person’s home for self-defense.
“They can have a firearm in their house,” he said. “But I’m not excited about the weapons of war. There are 15 million AR-15s in the United States. I’m reluctant to have the county invite in any and all kinds of firearms.”
Nixon said the ordinance would crack the door open for an ordinance for every amendment. A sanctuary ordinance would not reflect well on the county when trying to attract businesses and people to locate here.
Commission Gary Leatherman asked what the ordinance would change.
“What changes from what the Constitution says?” he asked. “All of us sitting here support the Constitution,” referring to the oath of office when elected officials are sworn in.
Group members said the ordinance was “symbolic” but the movement is about assurance that their Second Amendment rights are untouched.