Group calls on St. Lawrence County legislators to create 'Second Amendment sanctuary'
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 1:10 pm

BY ANDY GARDNER
North Country This Week

CANTON -- About 100 people showed up at Monday night’s St. Lawrence County legislature meeting and some of the group called on the board to make the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

A Second Amendment sanctuary, sometimes called a gun sanctuary, means a county or municipality that passes a resolution against enforcing gun control measures that Second Amendment advocates see as unconstitutional.

Legislature Chairman Joseph Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg, said they won’t take any action now, but it may come up for discussion at a future committee meeting. Generally, the board hashes out the resolutions at the committee level and then brings them to a monthly full board meeting once it’s ready to be voted on.

"If it's something you're ultimately going to be happy with, I don't know,” Lightfoot said.

He said many of the legislators side with the pro-gun attendees, but their hands are largely tied by state laws that override them.

"Most of these people up here, maybe I can’t speak for everyone, I can speak for myself, have some of the same feelings you folks in the audience have. We do express them,” he said. "There is very little we can do to fight the army of people who stand against us in Albany.

"Some of the members of this board feel what they are doing is unconstitutional."

More than a dozen of those present spoke during public comment, all of whom backed the county passing a gun sanctuary resolution.

Wyatt Cole said he sees the Second Amendment as a check on government power.

"We the people will be ultimately powerless to unjust governing” under strict gun control, he said.

"Second Amendment states the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed, period. It doesn't list any exceptions,” said Bill Miner. "This is not just a quaint, folksy tradition."

"The Second Amendment is a natural right,” said Darrian Hynes of Massena. "Andrew Cuomo is nobody to take that right away from me."

Some of the speakers voiced opinions on the more extreme end.

"If you refuse to sign a resolution not recognizing the supreme law of the land, that is a declaration of war against we the people," said Pat Green of Lisbon. "Once it starts, it's gonna be a bloodbath and we don't want a bloodbath in our country."

"Don't think for one second that we're not going to stand up for our rights,” said Dan Newtown. "There's gonna be a ledger of every person that goes against our Constitution. We're gonna know it when the time comes."

He did not clarify his comment.