SALT LAKE CITY — Uintah County Commission on Wednesday voted to designate the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”
All three commissioners voted to adopt the ordinance, joining more than 400 municipalities in 20 states, which have passed laws opposing the enforcement of certain gun laws passed by state or federal lawmakers.
First in Utah
Uintah County Commissioners Bart Haslam and Bill Stringer joined Lee Lonsberry on his show Live Mic to talk about becoming the first county in Utah to declare itself a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
Both commissioners agreed that the vote came in response to the Democratic-controlled Legislature in Virginia planning to take tougher actions on firearms, including universal background checks and “red flag” laws, which allow courts and police to remove guns from people who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
Since, more than 120 towns, cities and counties in Virginia have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
Commissioner Stringer says the newly passed ordinance means any law or regulation inconsistent with the Second Amendment won’t be enforced by the sheriff or any other employees of Uintah County and that no county money will be spend on enforcement.
But Haslam said if anyone — such as a convicted felon — under a preexisting law is prohibited by a court from owning or possessing a firearm, that law will continue to be enforced.
Backed by the Constitution
The ordinance, the commissioners said, rejects any new taxes or fees on firearms or ammunition. The attorney for the commission drafting the ordinance says it draws its authority from an individual’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.
Lee asked the commissioners if they had heard from other Utah counties concerning the ordinance just passed on Wednesday. Stringer said he had heard from 19 counties, to which he had sent the ordinance for review, out of the 29 in the state.
Haslam said the county Facebook page drew 20,000 reactions over the ordinance in 20 hours. Haslam said the ordinance puts a mechanism in place to guard against gun-control laws that run contrary to the Second Amendment being adopted by the state.
“I don’t know if we’re [Utah] one election or five elections away from something similar [to Virginia],” Haslam said.
Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.