Roseau County has become the first 2nd Amendment sanctuary County in Minnesota. The County Commissioners passed a “Second Amendment Dedicated County” resolution on Tuesday (2-11-2020).
In the resolution, Roseau Commissioners declared Roseau County, Minnesota, as a “Second Amendment Dedicated County“, and that the board expresses its intent to uphold the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Roseau County. Further, public funds of the County should not be used to restrict the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Roseau County, or to aid Federal or State agencies in the restriction of said rights. Finally the Roseau Board of Commissioners hereby declares its intent to oppose any infringement on the right of law–abiding citizens to keep and bear arms using such legal means as may be expedient, including, without limitation, court action. The vote passed unanimously.
Roseau County resident, James Whitlow, was a part of the movement to make Roseau County a Second Amendment sanctuary. Red Flag laws are one of the issues that ignited the grass roots movement. Thief River Falls Radio asked Whitlow to explain red flag laws.
Whitlow said that the red flag laws give any law enforcement agency the ability to go to a judge and remove people’s private property and in this case it’s their firearms. Whitlow spoke with a couple of different people in law enforcement about it, including the Roseau county sheriff, and he stated that he feels red flag laws are unconstitutional and they are not necessary because the sheriff’s department has the ability to place somebody on a seventy two hour psychiatric hold and then from there that person has the right to see a judge. The person has the right to due process to defend themselves without the government taking their private property.
Whitlow told Thief RIver Falls Radio that it all started when he asked one of his county commissioners to address the concern he had about some of the bills that went through this legislature last year.. The house of representatives passed some laws that Whitlow felt were unconstitutional ,including the red flag laws, that violate due process and the only reason that those bills were not passed along to be signed was they met opposition in the Minnesota Senate. Whitlow felt this needed to be addressed on a county level to see if there was some way that we can start a grassroots campaign to try to oppose what’s going on in the legislature.
Whitlow said the very first meeting he attended there is pretty much overwhelming support from the county commissioners and at that meeting they decided to go ahead and nominate a sub-committee. On the sub-committee it was to the commissioners and the county sheriff and the county attorney and then they also asked Whitlow to be on it, Whitlow shared language from the sanctuary movement from Virginia and around the country. The final amendments are made in Tuesday’s meeting and that brought to a vote and passed unanimously
Whitlow said the resolution now does not change any current law, it simply affirms that the county commissioners intend to to protect the constitution and preserve second amendment rights of the citizens of the county, The resolution then states they will not allocate any funding for enforcement or prosecution through the county commissioners office of any laws that go against the 2nd Amendment.
Whitlow said he was in contact with several people from other counties prior to speaking to Roseau county and prior to the Roseau County resolution. Whitlow had been in contact with people from Marshall, Kittson and Pennington counties. Whitlow said he had been encouraging the people in those counties to take the same steps to build a grass-roots movement.
The 2nd Amendment Sanctuary will be discussed this Tuesday during the Marshall County Board Meeting in Warren which begins at 9 am. Discussion about the resolution is on the agenda for 11:30.
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