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Second Amendment sanctuary county movement grows statewide

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009
Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg
The Lansing library system says Michigan's open-carry of weapons law does not apply to its facilities.

Talk of new gun regulations have led to a wave of gun rights advocates showing up at local government meetings in Michigan.

The gun rights advocates have spoken up in at least 10 counties across the state, asking the counties to declare themselves Second Amendment sanctuary counties.

The local resolutions are not legally binding. But advocates say they are important.

"When we have the people standing up and representing what they want for their values, good things happen,” says Jeff Fuss, a Second Amendment supporter who founded the Facebook group Michigan for 2A Sanctuary Counties. The group now has about 90,000 members.

The movement to declare counties “sanctuaries” took off nationwide after lawmakers in Virginia introduced new gun control bills, including a “red flag” bill that would allow law enforcement to take guns away from people considered a danger to themselves or others.  

"...laws are just stepping stones for them on the way to gun confiscation," says Jeff Fuss, of the effort to create new gun regulations.

Fuss says the idea that certain people shouldn’t have access to guns isn’t an issue for him. It’s how that idea might translate into law.

“Nobody is going to be against a common sense idea like that,” he says. “It never comes from a common sense idea. Laws are different than ideas. And laws are just stepping stones for them on the way to gun confiscation just like what you see in Virginia.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said in the past that she supports the idea of red flag laws for gun owners in Michigan. 

State legislators have introduced House resolution no. 219, which would declare the entire state a sanctuary state. In the meantime, supporters of the idea are pushing forward in a number of counties.

Last week, Mackinac County became the first to pass the resolution.

Tonight, supporters plan to bring the idea up at a meeting of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners. Other counties where the issue has come up include: Sanilac, Berrien, Ionia, Antrim, Oakland, Lapeer, Newaygo, Jackson, Monroe, Schoolcraft and Emmett Counties. Organizers of the Facebook group "Michigan for 2A Sanctuary Counties" say they have members from more than 80 of Michigan's 83 counties.

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Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Radio’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Radio since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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