KINGMAN — The Mohave County Board of Supervisors on Monday voted unanimously for a resolution declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary location.
Board Chair Hildy Angius brought the resolution to the supervisors. She stressed that the resolution isn’t legally binding but explained what it means.
The City of Needles declared itself a Second Amendment sanctuary city in July. Mohave County voted to support that community’s decision in August.
“It’s a statement of something we feel strongly about,” Angius said. “Things are happening at warp speed in this country.”
She cited a court order filed in September by the U.S. Department of Justice against Apple and Google seeking the names, addresses and other data of at least 10,000 users of a gun scope application that allows the gun owner to receive a live stream, shoot video and calibrate the scope using a smartphone, according to Forbes.com. “That was my ‘aha’ moment,” she said.
The resolution stated that the board of supervisors “will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing laws that unconstitutionally infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.”
Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster said he supports the resolution. He also noted that he and his staff have sworn to protect the federal and state constitutional rights of the people of Mohave County.
“There will always be a need to regulate the use of firearms for the safety and security of our communities,” Schuster said. “However, the rights of our citizens to possess and carry firearms, God willing, will never be infringed.”
He also shared an idea from Cesare Beccaria, author of the 18th-century essay “On Crimes and Punishments.” Beccaria’s ideas are considered to have been influential in creating the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as well as criminal law.
Here’s part of the quotation: The laws which forbid men to bear arms ... “only disarm those who are neither inclined or nor determined to commit crimes. ...”
Other speakers supporting the resolution included U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, State Rep. Leo Biasiucci and Needles Mayor Jeff Williams.
Gosar said Second Amendment rights are going to be important during the upcoming presidential election.
“America has to wake up. Our First and Second Amendment rights are tied together,” he said. “If you don’t have the Second Amendment, you don’t have the First.”
Borrelli mentioned the City of Tucson’s attempts to restrict firearm sales and buy back weapons and that the state might consider addressing nullification. This is non-enforcement by localities of new gun laws.
Biasiucci said people moving to Arizona should know Mohave County supports their Second Amendment rights.
“I think it’s vital in getting the right people to move to our district,” he also said.
Several residents spoke as well. Virtually all were in favor of the resolution.
Mary McCord Robinson, the Mohave County Democratic Party chairwoman, was opposed to the resolution being approved — at least for now. She questioned the timing and asked whether it was necessary at this point.
She explained that she owns various types of guns, has a permit to carry a concealed firearm and supports the Second Amendment. She said she is not in favor of “red flag” laws as currently written, either.
“I think there needs to be more discussion. I think there needs to be more and better understanding,” she said.
Even though it was a big social media topic over the weekend leading up to Monday’s meeting, “this is the first time it’s come up in this county,” McCord Robinson noted.
“I don’t think Mohave County is at risk right now,” said McCord Robinson. “The Constitution is there to protect us. We have a sheriff who just spoke and said he upholds the Constitution. I don’t understand why we need another layer.”
The item was listed as the 52nd on the agenda among 53 items. Supervisors began discussing it about 15 minutes into the meeting. Roughly 70 minutes was spent on the matter.