Uintah County becomes a Sanctuary County for arms

(Rick Egan | Tribune File Photo) The Book Cliffs near State Road 45 on Friday, March 9, 2012. The Uintah County Commission unanimously voted on Wednesday to approve Utah’s first Sanctuary County for the second amendment will.

The Uintah County Commission on Wednesday unanimously voted to become Utah’s first “Sanctuary County” for the second amendment – meaning the government restricts some state or state regulations that restrict a person’s right to keep and carry firearms , will not recognize or enforce.

The ordinance contains a number of provisions that the Northeast Utah community would classify as an “illegal act,” including taxes, duties, fees, or stamps imposed on a weapon or weapon accessory that is not applied to any other goods; the registration or tracking of firearms and ammunition unrelated to the point of sale; and any restrictions that limit magazine or clip capacity, bump stocks, suppressors, and more.

“We’re not trying to start a fight with the state of Utah; We’re not trying to start a dispute with any other federal administration, ”Uintah County’s assistant district attorney Jonathan Stearmer said during the special commission meeting. “We say the US Supreme Court clearly ruled as it ruled, and we are not going to use county resources to support unconstitutional laws.”

The idea is modeled on the “shelters” created for immigrants in more liberal parts of the United States, which in some ways limit a community’s local police cooperation with state Immigration and Customs Services (ICE).

Uintah County was inspired to adopt this model for the second amendment after more than 120 cities and counties in Virginia passed similar resolutions when their Democratic legislature introduced a series of gun control measures that they found hideous, according to The Trace, nonprofit news Organization dealing with gun violence.

Such municipal resolutions have now been passed in more than 400 communities in 20 states.

For the members of the three-person commission of Uintah County, the designation of Sanctuary County is seen as a precautionary measure in the event that the tide turns blue in red Utah or a future president or Congress enacts gun control measures that they consider to be a breach of the constitution.

Commissioner Bill Stringer said he was “a little sad” to see the regulation passed but added that he thought it was “necessary”.

“I don’t want to be in the position of Virginia where these counties are doing this as a defense against action taken,” he said. “I also see this more or less as a vote of no confidence in some of our federal and state legislators that we have to do this preventively so that we don’t react to something we never thought would happen.”

All residents who spoke at the meeting on Wednesday expressed their support for the move, including Uintah County Sheriff Steve Labrum, who thanked the County Commission for their guidance on the matter.

“I appreciate the foresight of our commissioners and the ability to get this passed so unanimously and the support we have from our community,” he said. “We are a group that we will protect ourselves. We like to hunt. We like this God-given right our ancestors gave us, and we don’t want to have to catch up like Virginia. “

The Uintah County ordinance, which cites legal proceedings and cites the second amendment, prohibits any Uintah County officer or employee from engaging in the enforcement of an “unlawful act” and prohibits the use of any funds they may in aid of the Enforcement or investigation of any such has been provided in connection with gun control measures.

Violation of these rules is considered a Class B offense and can result in up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $ 1,000.

The new rules are designed not to interfere with prosecution of firearm related crimes, and protection does not apply to individuals convicted of capital crimes or who are prohibited from possession of a firearm under federal and state law.

The passage of the Sanctuary County ordinance comes at a time when gun law has become a hotspot across the country as public pressure mounts nationally and locally for gun reform efforts following a spate of mass shootings. This is in stark contrast to recent actions by Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, who earlier this month approved a policy requiring that county-owned weapons displays conduct state background checks on anyone attempting to purchase a firearm.

Utah lawmakers are expected to pass a number of firearms laws during this year’s state legislature, which began Monday. Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, has already proposed a bill requiring universal background checks for most arms sales in Utah, though a similar attempt died without a hearing last year.

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