KAMIAH — “Now therefore be it resolved that the Kamiah City Council hereby declares the City of Kamiah to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary City,” states City of Kamiah resolution number 2021-02, which the council voted unanimously to approve at the regular city council meeting on Feb. 24. This action was first discussed at the Jan. 27, 2021 city council meeting. (A copy of the full 2A resolution is available from the City of Kamiah.)

Prior to the vote, Kamiah Mayor Betty Heater asked Lewis County Sheriff Jason Davis to describe the 2A sanctuary concept. He explained that a 2A sanctuary city is very simple.

“It rejects any laws, federal or state that have the perceived violation of the 2nd amendment,” Davis said. “There are some attorneys who say this has no legal standing, it’s just a statement.... There are always two sides to an argument. It depends on who you talk to and what articles you read.”

“The city [of Kamiah] is basically saying we want to have our ways down here and reject any laws that are not constitutional,” said Davis. He clarified that “any laws already on the books are constitutional.” He said the State of Idaho became a 2nd amendment state on March 14, 2014, so we have already been operating under this for seven years.

Davis said, “This is not something that says the City of Kamiah is going to become the wild, wild west, and we can walk down the streets of Kamiah shooting our six shooters.” He continued, “This does not grant immunity from existing laws on the books that are constitutional.” Davis explained the sheriff’s department will continue to enforce these laws.

After an audience question about a bill begin proposed in Congress, Davis said “As long as I’m in office…if you’re a lawful firearm owner in Lewis County, if you have a right to own under the 2nd amendment, you’re not going to see me knocking on your door trying to confiscate your guns.” He added “You’re likely going to see me and my deputies standing with you.” Davis clarified this was his position regardless of whether the city passed a 2A resolution.

An audience member asked council member Stephen Rowe, who initially proposed the 2A resolution, to address the comments on Facebook alleging ties of 2A sanctuaries to white supremacy.

Rowe said, “Making a 2A sanctuary has nothing to do with white supremacy. We [the council and mayor] don’t support white supremacy.” Millward stated, “I’m married to a Vietnamese”. Davis agreed that the 2A sanctuary is not about white supremacy, saying “This is solely about an individual’s 2nd Amendment rights”.

Rowe also stated that some people seemed to be confusing “sanctuary city” with “2nd Amendment (or 2A) sanctuary city”. These mean completely different things. When asked, Davis agreed that he would help get some information out to the public to better explain the 2A resolution.

In conclusion, Davis said, “We will continue to enforce laws on the books, this is not an immunity.” Millward explained, “We just made it a $1,000 fine to discharge a firearm in the city of Kamiah”, referring to a change to city ordinance in 2020.

In other council action, Mayor Betty Heater tabled the agenda items to “approve candidate for vacant councilmember seat” and “swear in new councilmember candidate.” She provided no explanation for the delay in action on these items, which will be addressed at the next meeting, scheduled for March 10.