Commissioners in the southern Ohio’s Clermont County unanimously approved a resolution declaring the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary on Monday, making it the second county in the state to do so.
The Cincinnati Inquirer reports that Second Amendment supporters at the county commission meeting cheered the passage of the resolution, though some felt like the measure didn’t go far enough, and others called it an act of “political theater.”
The resolution was added to the agenda Friday, giving the public little time to comment before Monday’s meeting, said Republican Chris Hicks, who’s challenging [Board of Commissioners President David] Painter in the Republican Primary March 17.
He called it a “baloney resolution to make it look like Clermont County is embracing gun rights and protecting people’s gun rights.”
“It’s nothing but political fluff and pablum,” Hicks said.
Some in Clermont County opposed any resolution making Clermont County a Second Amendment sanctuary.
Steve Neago, Jr. believes banning guns with magazines, such as AR-15 rifles and semi-automatic pistols, is reasonable.
The 61-year-old Milford resident thinks the commissioners sent the wrong message with their resolution.
“It misrepresents Clermont County of being solely of one mind in favor of this Second Amendment protection,” Neago said.
I’m not an expect on Clermont County, but I’m willing to bet that there aren’t a lot of people there, at least beyond Neago, who believe that “guns with magazines” should be banned or would be reasonable. After all, that would include the vast majority of firearms in this country.
The only other Ohio county to adopt a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution to date is Meigs County, which approved a resolution in December. The Inquirer spoke to Buckeye Firearms Association executive director Dean Rieck, who says the movement hasn’t really caught fire in the state.
Many Ohio municipalities and counties don’t see it as necessary, at least for now, he said. The Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly has already put in place strong protections against restricting gun ownership and prevent local municipalities from enacting harsher gun ownership restrictions, he said.
“I don’t know if there’s a need for it in Ohio,” Rieck said. “I’m not hearing a lot of interest.”
There are really two reasons why communities declare themselves to be Second Amendment Sanctuaries; as a reactive move in the face of gun control legislation or as a proactive move to head off gun control legislation. In Virginia, the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement is definitely a defensive reaction to the slew of anti-gun legislation introduced in the state. In Ohio, the votes appear to be more proactive.
While Gov. Mike DeWine has called for a number of changes to the state’s gun laws, at the moment Republican lawmakers in Columbus haven’t expressed any interest in passing the governor’s proposals. That may be one reason why the movement is growing slowly in Ohio, but I still wouldn’t be surprised to see a surge in interest as we get deeper into the election cycle. Ohio is a bellwether state, and a large number of counties displaying their support for the Second Amendment and opposition to the Democrats’ gun control agenda would send a message that the national media might find difficult to ignore.