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Officials vote to make Pendleton County a 'Second Amendment sanctuary'

Posted: 8:07 PM, Jan 03, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-04 00:01:04-05

The Pendleton County Fiscal Court on Friday unanimously approved a symbolic resolution declaring their community a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” — one opposed to any law that would create new restrictions on legal gun ownership in the state of Kentucky.

Although the resolution carries no force of law, Judge Executive David Fields said county officials hope it makes an impression on the state legislature as it prepares to reconvene in Frankfort.

“They like their guns,” Fields said of his county’s roughly 14,500 residents. “I’m a gun owner myself. When I go out to sport shoot, I shoot. When I hunt, I hunt. This is part of just showing that we want our Second Amendment rights to stay where they are.”

Pendleton County Judge Magistrate Darrin Gregg, who proposed the resolution, described gun ownership as a “God-given right” in a Monday interview with WCPO and worried aloud that newly elected Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear would outlaw bump stocks or large-capacity clips.

Beshear has stated publicly he would not push for an assault rifle ban but would support a “red flag” law allowing police to temporarily confiscate firearms from people deemed dangerous by a judge. That’s too much, Gregg said.

"You’re not taking nothing,” he said. “That’s our right. You’re not taking nothing. Once you start biting, once you start biting, you want a bigger bite next time.”

Jacques Capon, a Pendleton County man who supported the resolution, said he feared state-level restrictions could become the prelude to a large-scale rollback of gun rights. He compared gun control campaigns to the Nazis’ erosion of German civil rights in the early 20th century.

“The Nazis started very slowly to eat up,” he said. “Once they had control, they had a free hand. They had a whole country. Then after that they went for the whole world.”

(Arguments that Nazi disarmament campaigns contributed to the Holocaust have been deemed false by Politifact.)

Speaking after Friday night’s vote, Fields did not forecast large-scale changes to Kentucky’s gun laws or make historical analogies. He noted Pendleton County was one of dozens weighing similar resolutions to signal opposition to gun control efforts that could potentially emerge from Frankfort.

“This is something I wanted to get in the representatives hands, the legislators, for them to have when they go into session,” he said.