Gun rights

Published 12:55 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2020

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Polk passes 2nd Amendment resolution

COLUMBUS—Polk County Commissioner David Moore may have summed up how the board feels about the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when he said, “I don’t want anyone coming and taking my guns.” 

Commissioners met Monday and unanimously approved a resolution reconfirming that the county will support and maintain the U.S. and North Carolina Constitutions, including the 2nd Amendment of the right to bear arms. 

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Moore put the item on the agenda as many counties across the state have done recently. Moore said he has had several citizens ask him for several months and he discussed it with other commissioners and the county manager and felt it was time Polk County did so. 

Commissioner vice chair Tommy Melton said he clearly supports the 2nd Amendment as he owns guns, rifles and ammunition. 

“I believe in hunting,” Melton said. “I believe in the right to defend yourself, and I am so proud this board has taken the opportunity tonight to state our position.”

The board meeting was almost full of residents in support of the resolution. Moore asked the audience to raise their hands if they were there in support of the resolution and most raised their hands that they were. Once the resolution was read and approved, the audience said “Amen,” and clapped. 

Commissioner Paul Beiler said he is a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment. 

“I also own quite a few weapons,” Beiler said. 

He said he enjoys shooting and enjoys teaching his children how to shoot responsibly. 

“There is a lot of pressure now days to demonize weapons,” Beiler said. “I just want to say I support the 2nd Amendment.” 

He spoke of the national media loving to demonize the AR15 in particular, which he said is used in less than 3 percent of all homicides. 

“There’s actually more deaths that are caused by hands and feet than by this weapon, the AR15” Beiler said. 

Commissioner Ray Gasperson said it was great to see a crowd like showed up to Monday’s meeting. 

“I support the whole constitution and the 2nd Amendment is part of the constitution,” Gasperson said. “We are just reaffirming that. So I’m fine.” 

Gasperson said local governments in North Carolina cannot pass local ordinances that are more or less than the state ordinances, which attorney Jana Berg agreed.  

Moore said he is a gun owner and has several of them and does not want anyone coming and taking his guns. 

“They’re mine,” Moore said. “And I think everybody will agree with that statement.” 

Commissioner chair Myron Yoder said there are a lot of good men and women in this county with guns. 

“And I like that,” Yoder said. “If you have good men and women with guns you don’t have to worry about bad men with guns.” 

Yoder also thanked Sheriff Tim Wright for being at the meeting and said he knows the sheriff is 100 percent behind the resolution. 

Following is the resolution the Polk County Board of Commissioners approved Monday night: 





WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States of America, including the Bill of

Rights and other amendments, is the Supreme Law of the land, and,

WHEREAS, it is the sworn duty of all elected officials to support and maintain both the Federal and State Constitutions and laws consistent therewith, and,

WHEREAS, from time to time various provisions and amendments come under scrutiny and challenge, and,

WHEREAS, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution is currently at the forefront of debate and controversy, and,

WHEREAS, the Polk County Board of Commissioners desire to reconfirm its long- standing commitment to support and maintain the laws of the United States and the State of North Carolina which are consistent with our State and Federal Bill of Rights and Constitution, and,

WHEREAS, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution provides that “A well- regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed;” and,

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of these United States has ruled that the Second

Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms; and,

WHEREAS, the North Carolina Constitution provides that “… the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed….” and,

WHEREAS, based upon the language of the NC Constitution, the North Carolina

Supreme Court has ruled that, “For any lawful purpose–either of business or amusement-the citizen is at perfect liberty to carry his gun.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Polk County Board of

Commissioners do hereby reconfirm our solemn duty to support, maintain and defend the inalienable rights of our citizens, including those rights for an individual to keep and bear arms which was recognized in both the United States and North Carolina Constitution as a preexisting natural right which is not to be infringed; and further, that no public funds, resources, employees, buildings or offices which are under the control and direction of

Polk County shall be used in any manner in contravention of the mandates of said supreme laws of the land.