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In recent weeks more than 400 counties and cities in some 20 states have passed resolutions declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries. The movement stems from the trend toward proposal and passage of tighter restrictions on gun ownership at the state level.
No Minnesota city or county has yet taken that step, but that may be about to change. Rep. Shane Mekeland, R-Clear Lake has asked Sherburne County to consider becoming a so-called Second Amendment sanctuary, the first in the state.
Mekeland sent a letter also signed by five GOP colleagues who represent portions of Sherburne County suggesting the county board become the first jurisdiction in Minnesota to take a stand against “Anti-Second Amendment legislation,” according to the St. Cloud Times.
“We look forward to doing our part as legislators to protect and fortify the Second Amendment at the state level,” the letter said. “In the meantime, we encourage you, as Sherburne County elected officials, to provide leadership at the county level by doing your part to uphold the Second Amendment rights our shared constituents enjoy under our cherished Constitution.”
Mekeland said he and other representatives began getting emails last week during news that counties in Virginia began declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, he said.
“All of us are getting inundated with people begging us to stand up for the Second Amendment rights,” he said.
The request comes just weeks before the start of a new legislative session which will see renewed attempts by DFL legislators to pass gun control measures. The Star Tribune notes the issue has already begun to heat up with a hearing today on the Iron Range.
Mekeland’s letter came as Republicans who control the Minnesota Senate rolled out a package of pro-gun measures at a public hearing Tuesday in Hibbing. The new proposals, being readied for the upcoming session of the Legislature, include measures to carry firearms without a permit and protect gun owners who fire in self-defense.
…The GOP push in Minnesota stands in sharp contrast to DFL plans to expand criminal background checks and institute “red flag” laws that would allow judges to temporarily remove guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves and others.
Second Amendment sanctuary supporters may or may not have intended to tweak leftists by borrowing the language and tactics of the sanctuary city movement. Regardless, it already appears that Second Amendment rights and restrictions may well become one of the defining issues of the 2020 campaign to control the Minnesota Legislature.