Lincoln County Board reviews 2nd Amendment Sanctuary resolution
As part of their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors were introduced to a resolution deeming Lincoln County a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
Many Lincoln County residents attended the meeting and voiced their opinions on the resolution.
Half of those addressing the board during a designated public comment session supported the resolution, while the other half did not. Ultimately the resolution would be sent to the county’s Administrative and Legislative Committee by a 13-9 vote.
District 13 Supervisor Calvin Callahan presented the resolution to the board and was the first to speak on the resolution; citing recent legislative efforts in Madison regarding gun control.
“Here in Wisconsin our governor and members of the legislation have pulled gun control laws,” said Callahan. “For example assembly bill 573, also known as the Red Flag law, states: ‘Upon receiving a petition filed by any person, a court shall schedule an injunction hearing, the court shall also issue a restraining order prohibiting the respondent from possessing a firearm and order they surrender all firearms to law enforcement. And just to mention, that last part about surrendering firearms to law enforcement, is before the court even hears the case. This proposed legislation has one intent and that is to chip away at our second amendment rights.”
Prior to the supervisors’ discussion on the resolution, the board opened the floor to the public.
Sister Pat McCormick was one of the first members of the public to speak on the resolution, which she was not in favor of.
“My primary argument for opposition to the resolution is that the amendments to the constitution and infringement of rights is usually defended in the courts and that should be sufficient for us,” McCormick stated. “There isn’t a need to make a statement about a specific amendment when we have recourse in the courts to defend our rights.”
Tomahawk resident Linda Jerzak also spoke in opposition of the resolution, stating law-abiding citizens have no need to worry about their guns being confiscated.
“I am a gun owner and I come from a family of gun owners,” stated Jerzak. “I am also a law-abiding citizen and a resident of Lincoln County. This resolution is unnecessary and divisive in a time of great divide in our country. It also sends the wrong message that it’s okay not to follow the law if you don’t agree with it.”
Also among those participating in public comment were two Merrill Common Council members, Steve Osness (Fourth District Alderman) and Paul Russell (First District Alderman).
Alderman Osness, who composed the resolution passed by the Common Council by 6-2 vote on Tuesday, Jan.14 , was the first of the two to speak.
“I come here as a citizen of Merrill and I also sit on the Merrill Common Council,” Osness opened. “I am the one who brought the resolution to Merrill and the reason I brought this up is to lead the way. I wanted to lead the way and hopefully you guys will jump on board so we can be united on our second amendment rights.”
“Whether you like it or not our world is made up of predator and prey,” Osness continued.
“Prey is defenseless, where predators are not. We can defend ourselves against predators because we have the God given right to bear arms and protect ourselves when we see fit.”
Alderman Russell would be one of the final speakers to voice their opinion on the resolution.
“I have spent the majority of my life defending and protecting all of the amendments of the constitution,” stated Russell. “This resolution is a little personal to me. Not everything in this resolution is perfect and it never is. I personally don’t like the term ‘sanctuary city’ because it’s a knock-off of the immigration issues and not the second amendment issue. I would encourage people to look at what Virginia is doing and calling them ‘Constitutional Cities’ instead. The idea that this resolution changes law and Lincoln County becomes lawless and law enforcement doesn’t do their job, is a made up dream. People need to read the resolution, this is nothing but symbolic and I hope that the supervisors here follow the leadership of the Merrill City Council.”
Lincoln County Sheriff Ken Schneider ended the public comment period with a short and to the point comment.
“I don’t have a vote, but if I did, I would vote yes to approve this resolution.” said Schneider.
After a lengthy conversation between supervisors, County Board Vice-Chair and District 2 supervisor Robert Weaver made a motion to send the resolution to the Administrative and Legislative Committee.
Weaver stated that if the resolution isn’t sent to committee, like all other resolutions, then the county government committees are not being utilized properly. The motion was seconded by District 22 supervisor Timothy Panfil.
Supervisors voting in favor of the motion include: Julie Allen (District 19), Norbert Ashbeck (District 6), Hans Breitenmoser (District 11), Paul Gilk (District 12), Dora Gorski (District 20), Brian Hafeman (District 14), Kevin Koth (District 17), Robert Lee (District 15, County Board Chair), Timothy Panfil (District 22), Greta Rusch (District 7), Patricia Voermans (District 18), Robert Weaver (District 2) and Derek Woellner (District 4).