The Second Amendment Sanctuary movement is gaining steam in Michigan, where at least eight counties have approved symbolic resolutions vowing to shield residents from unconstitutional gun laws.
Delta County in the Upper Peninsula became the most recent to adopt a resolution with a 3 to 2 vote at a regular commission meeting Tuesday.
The proposal, which read “ … the people of Delta County, Mich. Affirm their support to the sheriff to exercise sound discretion to not enforce against any citizen unconstitutional firearms laws …,” drew dozens to speak for and against, WLUC reports.
“It means everything but it means nothing. It’s a symbolic resolution, it does not have the weight of law,” Delta commissioner David Moyle said. “So people say well then why do it? Well, the Pledge of Allegiance is very symbolic, it doesn’t have the weight of law, but we are very, very fastidious about that. At least we should be.”
Delta County commissioners plan to send a copy of the resolution to state lawmakers in Lansing as a clear sign of resistance to any effort to curb residents’ constitutional right to bear arms. Others that have followed the same path include Mackinac County, also in the Upper Peninsula, as well as Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Oscoda, Iosco counties in the northern Lower Peninsula. Osceola County in central Michigan and Lapeer County in the Thumb adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions, as well.
The effort is seemingly coordinated through a “Michigan for 2A Sanctuary Counties” Facebook page, which was inspired by similar resolutions in Virginia that effectively killed a proposed ban on “assault rifles” there, Jeff Fuss, founder of the group, told Mlive.
“It’s about making sure people’s voices are being heard, not just at the state level, but also at the local level, at the township, at the county level especially so when people in Lansing to try pass whatever laws, they know where the people stand and they know where their bounds are because they have to take their guidance from the people,” Fuss said.
In addition to the counties with approved resolutions, Sanilac and Alcona counties pass support for the Second Amendment but avoided the term “sanctuary.” Officials in both Kalkaska and Antrim counties scheduled meetings on Second Amendment Sanctuary proposals for Thursday.
Newaygo, Monroe, Montmorency, St. Clair and Maycomb counties are also processing proposals.
“Some people refer to it as a reaffirmation of faith,” Fuss said. “I look at it as just more of a statement from the community on where they stand if things change on the laws that we have today.”
The movement is notable in Michigan because it’s gaining support in several traditionally liberal counties in the southeast corner of the state.
In Macomb County, for example, the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution was sponsored by Commissioner Phil Kraft, a Republican who doesn’t own a single firearm, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“Why not here in Macomb?” he said at a recent meeting. “I saw this resolution. A basic resolution in support of our Second Amendment right to bear arms. I know there are a lot of gun owners in Macomb County. They wouldn’t want their Second Amendment right infringed upon.”
Commissioners have not yet approved the proposal, but it’s getting support from residents.
“I believe you have the right to bear arms,” resident Michael Hadley said, adding that he owns a gun for home protection. “That’s something that’s been on the books since before we were all born.”
In other more rural areas of the state, local militias are reiterating that message, as well, though more with actions than with words.
Antrim County resident Randy Bishop, a conservative radio host helping to organize the statewide Second Amendment Sanctuary movement, told the Traverse City Record-Eagle he introduced the measure under consideration Thursday to send a message.
“We want them all on the record early this election year. If they don’t support our resolution we will find people serious about running against them,” he said.
Bishop introduced the resolution to Antrim County commissioners in January, but action was delayed on the proposal until today to provide public notice, according to the news site.
“They want the public to know about it. Well, ok. The public is going to show up,” he said.
Bishop will be among numerous members of the Northwest Lower Michigan Civil Defense Militia who plan to attend today’s commission meeting, along with their firearms.
“We will have more firearms at that meeting than the sheriff has in his office,” Bishop said. “We are going to show them we are serious about our Second Amendment rights. We will exercise our gun rights and display it at the meeting.”
Bishop said at least 20 Michigan counties have received proposals, with plenty more on the way in the coming weeks.
“We are organizing in 83 counties all across the state of Michigan,” he said.