Anderson County decides to present 2nd amendment ordinance

 By Stan Welch

  At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Anderson County Council responded to a previous request for a formal position on the establishment of Anderson County as a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.
That request came from a gun rights group known as S.C. Carry. Efforts to enact gun control laws by several state legislatures, most notably Virginia, spurred that request. Tuesday night, the Anderson County Council presented a resolution that expressed strong support of the Second Amendment, as well as proposing a specific and viable course of action.
Apparently that wasn’t sufficient for the more than two hundred gun rights activists who packed the council chambers. Under the procedures established for public comment, each person who signs up to speak on agenda matters is allotted three minutes. Dozens of people spoke Tuesday night; as they spoke, it became apparent that they did not want a resolution.
They wanted an ordinance, which carries the weight of law. Unwilling to wait on the more decorous and appropriate process recommended by the resolution, they made their wishes clear. Council, which has been transparently in favor of the sanctuary status, acquiesced, and declined to adopt the resolution; promising instead to present an ordinance no later than the second meeting of April. The ordinance will still require three readings.
The resolution pointed out the language of the South Carolina Constitution and its extraordinary similarity to the actual Second Amendment as it appears in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, and goes on to describe the right to bear arms as a “fundamental right that should be protected to the greatest degree possible.”
The resolution acknowledges the actions of other legislatures; some proposed and some already achieved, that impose conditions on various aspects of the Second Amendment. And it expresses the county’s “intent to stand as a sanctuary county for Second Amendment rights.” It also expresses strong support for state Bill H5317, the S.C. Second Amendment Protection Act; and calls for its expeditious passage by the General Assembly.
The resolution goes even further; calling for the creation of a committee, comprised of as many as five members to be chosen by the leader of the Anderson chapter of S.C. Carry. That person is currently Randy Jones, who made the organization’s request last month. Two members would be chosen by Sheriff Chad McBride and county attorney Leon Harmon. That committee would be charged with crafting an ordinance concerning the Second Amendment.
That ordinance would receive first reading at the April 7 Council meeting. If approved, the county would then seek a formal opinion from the S.C. Attorney General on the proposed ordinance’s compliance with existing state law prior to any further action. If the ordinance receives approval, it would proceed through two more readings; and if approved it would become law, establishing Anderson County as a Second Amendment sanctuary county.