First, I would like to thank the people who actually took the time and have reached out to get information about why we did not adopt a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance. Unfortunately, I have been made aware that there are some folks who have not reached out, asking for signatures on a petition demanding that the Idaho County Board of Commissioners “declare Idaho County a Second Amendment Sanctuary with protection from outside governments that would infringe on these rights as described in the Constitution of the United States.” I would have to ask those circulating this petition, what would this really look like in practice? The devil is always in the details and actual facts.
This petition lacks the foresight needed to adequately address what the organizers are really looking for. Based on this petition, it would appear that the desire is to create a nation in which every unit of government, be it a city, county or state, gets to decide which laws they are going to establish and enforce. What’s next? A county ordinance on abortion? Should a city or county in Idaho be able to allow the murder of the unborn simply by a local ordinance?
Let me be clear. While I do like the concept of making a statement to protect our 2nd Amendment rights and put it on the commissioners agenda for discussion a few weeks ago, I also must weigh the potential consequences for Idaho County citizens.
When county commissioners pass an ordinance, we have to be prepared to defend that law in court. I am concerned that if Idaho County passes a 2A Sanctuary ordinance, it suggests to the public that a person will be exempt from all federal firearm laws. This, in my opinion, will put Idaho County on the hook to provide legal defense costs for both the county and any individual who might be charged. In case you are unaware, when lawyers are involved, there is a loud sucking sound coming out of your bank account, as hundreds and thousands of tax dollars are spent. And in this situation, those dollars would be recklessly spent, as this specific issue was addressed by SB1332 back in 2014.
Being a strong believer in limited government and governing with common sense, I do not take passing an ordinance lightly. I do not believe in putting useless, redundant laws on the books, nor do I believe it is good leadership to endanger the county’s financial security due to a feel-good ordinance.