On Feb. 27, The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders (MCBCF) passed a resolution declaring Monmouth County as a “Second Amendment Lawful Gun Owning County”. This resolution includes a statement that the MCBCF is in opposition to “any proposed law that infringes on any right protected under the Constitution and Bill of Rights including the Second Amendment.” At the beginning of the meeting MCBCF stated they are not using the term “Second Amendment Sanctuary County” (which had previously been reported in a news article) and the wording of their resolution was changed at the last minute to delete a paragraph stating “…certain legislation introduced in state and federal legislatures may have the effect of infringing on lawful firearms ownership, undermining the protections of the Second Amendment…” This may have been a response to the large number of people in attendance who came prepared to speak against an anticipated resolution for a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.
Second Amendment/Lawless Counties resolutions are occurring across the country, including New Jersey. They typically declare that the local council or sheriff intend to refuse fulfilling their Constitutional responsibility to enforce gun violence prevention laws passed on the state or federal level. Local governments or town councils declare or pass a resolution which states that Second Amendment rights are protected in the township.
The majority of these resolutions hold no legal weight but they undermine the rule of law, cause confusion, and can deter people from reporting individuals who may hurt themselves or others. This means a person may be misled or confused by a Second Amendment/Lawless Counties resolution and falsely believe that the gun safety laws will no longer be enforced in that township/county. Law enforcement will be put at risk and these resolutions may limit their ability to know who is a law-abiding gun owner and who is not. Although MCBCF changed their resolution wording and stated they are merely expressing an opinion about upholding the Constitution, why is it necessary to do that? They have never made a resolution supporting any of the other Amendments of the Constitution. New Jersey already has very good gun laws that do not infringe on Second Amendment rights and work to keep us safe from gun violence.
These resolutions do not protect us and aren’t in line with the vast majority of New Jersey voters who support common-sense gun legislation, like background checks on all gun sales and Red Flag laws. One hundred people die from gun violence every day in this country, and hundreds more are wounded. Firearms are the number one leading cause of death for American children and teens. As a state, we are not anti-gun, we are anti-gun violence. It’s time to make our voices heard.
Freehold, New Jersey