CASS COUNTY- The Cass County Board of Supervisors tabled action Tuesday on a controversial resolution that would make Cass County a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary County.”
The resolution comes from the Iowa Firearms Coalition and has been passed by at least 36 counties in Iowa including Guthrie, Pottawattamie and several other southwest Iowa counties. It is largely symbolic and states a county’s intent to oppose any legislation that would “infringe upon the constitutional right of the people of Cass County to keep and bear arms.”
But the resolution was opposed by one resident, Cary Short, a former NRA member and gun owner, who said the resolution contained inaccuracies, would be ineffective and nothing more than a political act.
“The opening statement in this is totally false,” he said. “The constitution does not guarantee the right for all citizens to bear arms.” He added that sheriff’s in the “original” counties that passed the resolution have said they would not “cooperate with any federal agencies that involve anything on people bearing guns. It’s become a political thing, it’s historically inaccurate, it’s constitutionally inaccurate and by the court’s ruling it’s inaccurate.”
The resolution also states that it is necessary since “legislation is currently being considered and expected to be proposed by both the Iowa State Legislature and Federal Legislature that potentially seeks to infringe on the constitutionally protected right of citizens to keep and bear arms.” It did not say what those laws may be but could be referring to possible background check laws.
That statement raised concerns from one Supervisor.
“It seems a little contradictory,” Supervisor John Hartkopf said. “It talks about legislation being considered by the Iowa Legislature to infringe on this — I have not heard of anything infringing — I’ve heard the exact opposite from my lobbyists up there.”
Supervisor Steve Green, former Atlantic Police Chief, said that as written he would not support the resolution.
“If we are to sign something like this without something that says it excludes somebody that has a forcible felony or something like that, I feel like we’re not doing our due diligence here,” he said adding, “I would vote no on this, just the way it is written and I’m about as big a gun advocate as anybody in the world. At the same time, there needs to be something here that keeps the people that I put in prison from getting out of prison and getting a gun and carrying it into this office.”
The board took no action but agreed to gather more information and could consider in the future.
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