2nd Amendment sanctuary

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 4/28/21

WAYNE COUNTY, PA — Second Amendment sanctuary is the name given to any state, county, or other locality in the U.S. that has adopted laws or resolutions that oppose, or purport to prohibit or …

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2nd Amendment sanctuary

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WAYNE COUNTY, PA — Second Amendment sanctuary is the name given to any state, county, or other locality in the U.S. that has adopted laws or resolutions that oppose, or purport to prohibit or impede, enforcement of certain gun control measures proposed or adopted at state and/or federal levels.

Originally an outgrowth of the “constitutional sheriffs movement,” in which rural county sheriffs publicly declared a refusal to enforce new gun laws, Second Amendment sanctuaries have recently increased exponentially and now include some states with more urban and suburban demographics. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms and the same right extended to citizenry by states: the amendment is expressly for arming a government-sponsored militia. A state’s right of citizenry to bear arms is solely for the purpose of personal protection, including self-defense and defense of one’s home, family and property.

At the April 19 meeting of the Berlin Township Board of Supervisors, a young man, Dalton Derrick, in the gallery of that live, in-person meeting,  came forward with a petition requesting that the township adopt a resolution upholding Second Amendment rights. He informed the board that, if it did so, it would be joining neighboring Dyberry and Damascus Townships, both of which recently adopted similar (if not identically worded) resolutions, thereby presenting a united Second Amendment sanctuary front in Wayne County.

“I certainly believe in this,” said Berlin supervisor Cathy Hunt. “I just want to check with Dyberry supervisors to see if they would object to our using their resolution wording as a model for our resolution.”

The other two Berlin supervisors needed no persuasion. Charlie Gries said that, if no one else had introduced a resolution to that effect, he would have done so himself. To prove it, he flashed a paper with suggested wording. Rob Mahon immediately seconded Gries’ intent. Hunt promised to draft a resolution and have it ready for adoption at next month’s board meeting.

Township resolutions exert no force of law. Neither laws nor ordinances, they are merely indicators of the political will of the township’s current supervisors and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the will of their constituents. Nevertheless, they serve as political barometers to county, state and federal politicians seeking to define party platform issues and develop legislation accordingly.

Second Amendment rights were not the only rights Berlin was asked to espouse along with its Dyberry and Damascus neighbors. Damascus Township has initiated a lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Committee (DRBC), charging it with violation of landowner rights, including but not limited to the mineral rights denied by the DRBC’s recent decision to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Delaware River Basin. Dyberry has reportedly joined Damascus in the suit. Berlin was invited to join as well.

Although the supervisors appeared to be sympathetic to the suit, Hunt noted that the deadline for joining it, March 30, had already passed, thereby stopping any discussion of doing so.

5/5/21 * This story was edited to delete the assertion, "The amendment is expressly for arming a government-sponsored militia."

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Bernadette Conway

Can you please confirm whether this is an op ed or a news story? I submitted a comment earlier today, but it wasn't posted, so I'll submit again.

Ms Drolliger states matter of fact, "the amendment is expressly for arming a government-sponsored militia." That is not true. As highlighted by by LII at Cornell Law School, "It was not until 2008 that the Supreme Court definitively came down on the side of an “individual rights” theory. Relying on new scholarship regarding the origins of the Amendment,11 the Court in District of Columbia v. Heller confirmed what had been a growing consensus of legal scholars—that the rights of the Second Amendment adhered to individuals. The Court reached this conclusion after a textual analysis of the Amendment, an examination of the historical use of prefatory phrases in statutes, and a detailed exploration of the 18th century meaning of phrases found in the Amendment. Although accepting that the historical and contemporaneous use of the phrase “keep and bear Arms” often arose in connection with military activities, the Court noted that its use was not limited to those contexts. Further, the Court found that the phrase “well regulated Militia” referred not to formally organized state or federal militias, but to the pool of “able-bodied men” who were available for conscription. Finally, the Court reviewed contemporaneous state constitutions, post-enactment commentary, and subsequent case law to conclude that the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms extended beyond the context of militia service to include self-defense.

Using this “individual rights theory,” the Court struck down a District of Columbia law that banned virtually all handguns, and required that any other type of firearm in a home be dissembled or bound by a trigger lock at all times. The Court rejected the argument that handguns could be banned as long as other guns (such as long-guns) were available, noting that, for a variety of reasons, handguns are the “most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home.”"

Clearly, the SCOTUS decisions prove that the 2nd amendment is not expressly for arming a government sponsored militia. Will you post a correction or clarify this as Op Ed? Please report responsibly.

Monday, May 3