Alarmed by gun legislation, county board takes stand for Second Amendment

Unnerved by the velocity of firearms-related bills moving forward in the DFL-controlled legislature, the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners elected to fire off a sort of warning shot of their own. The north-central Minnesota county board added the item to its agenda this week at the last minute, according to the Brainerd Dispatch.

On a split vote, the Crow Wing County Board approved a resolution naming itself a Second Amendment dedicated county, stating it plans to oppose any efforts in the future to unconstitutionally restrict the right to keep and bear arms, namely firearms.

…The resolution states the board wishes to express its deep commitment to the rights of all citizens of the county to possess firearms and intends to oppose, within legal limits, any efforts in the future to unconstitutionally restrict such rights.

Why the sudden hurry? Commissioners cited serious reservations over two gun-related bills at the legislature that they fear could be on the fast track to passage. They wanted to send a clear message that their constituents’ Second Amendment rights will be fiercely protected against potentially unconstitutional attacks in St. Paul.

Commissioner Paul Koering said in the discussion with Houge, it’s the quickness in seeing the Legislature move with one party.

“In the discussion that Commissioner Houge and myself had, and the quickness that we’re seeing the Legislature move with all one party of the Legislature, I know that I’m concerned about people’s rights that are in my district.”

Koering said, in the discussion with Houge, they thought it was important to let local legislators know the county is concerned about people’s rights.

“So that’s really the purpose of this resolution today and I hope people can support it,” Koering said.

The action provides a window into the scrutiny by both public officials and residents in Greater Minnesota of the most prominent gun bills backed by DFL lawmakers.

The two main bills, Minnesota Public Radio reported in February, “would expand background check requirements for firearm sales and other transfers, and allow authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from people in crisis under what are commonly known as red flag laws or extreme risk protection orders.”

In another indication of how strongly many in the area feel about the issue, the county commissioners received backup from law enforcement.

Sheriff Eric Klang spoke to the commissioners briefly before the vote saying he thinks there are already laws in place to cover the negligent use of firearms and the current laws in place need to be used.

“And if there’s a problem with those laws, then we should, you know, we should change those or we should amend them but not just make up new laws,” Klang said.

Crow Wing County joins the list of eight other Minnesota counties to become so-called Second Amendment sanctuaries closely watching the status of bills they view as potential threats to their constitutional rights.