‘Armed’ resolution adopted

Published 8:48 am Thursday, May 30, 2013

WINTON – The elected leaders of Hertford County local government support the right of citizens to bear arms and they’re “on the record” with that fact.

At their regularly scheduled meeting last week, the county’s Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to preserve the rights of citizens to bear arms. The resolution comes in the wake of some individuals and groups across the nation basically demonizing those who choose to follow what’s spelled out in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Although brief, the commissioners had previously discussed the possibility of adopting such a resolution, but took no action at that time.

“It’s been about a month ago that the Pitt County Commissioners sent us two resolutions, wanting us to follow and do that same about the rights of citizens to bear arms,” said Commissioner Johnnie Ray Farmer who led the discussion on the issue. “I reviewed them and thought they were a little too much wording.”

Farmer said he has had several conversations with county citizens about this issue.

“They asked me were we going to have a resolution on this right to bear arms,” Farmer said. “This resolution now drafted simply states what is already written and adopted in our national and state constitutions that citizens do have a right to bear arms. What this resolution says to our governor and to our state legislators is that we want that right protected. I hoping that you, my fellow commissioners, will support this.”

“I have no problem at all supporting our constitution and have no problem with this resolution,” stated Commission chairman Curtis Freeman. “My personal thoughts a month ago was that I wanted to stay out of all the talk about what types of weapons should remain protected under the constitution and which ones should not be protected. I feel like we the citizens have the right to bear arms. When it comes down to the type of weapons, the caliber, and the size of the (ammunition) clip, that’s where I differ.”

Farmer pointed out that any possible prohibitions imposed by the federal or state government when it comes to gun control would have no impact on criminals.

“If and when any types of gun laws are approved, they will only affect law-abiding citizens,” Farmer stressed. “That’s why we should be concerned about our right to have weapons. A criminal will have one regardless of any sort of laws. We need the right to protect our homes, our property from the lawless.”

One citizen in the audience said that he had read several resolutions dealing with the right to bear arms that have been approved by local boards such as the Hertford County Commissioners. He stated that several of those resolutions include language where if the federal government prohibits the ownership and use of weapons by American citizens, the local law will override federal law. He asked if Hertford County’s resolution took that one extra measure, to which Freeman replied, “no.”

“I haven’t seen anywhere during this whole gun control situation about the government doing away with citizen rights,” Freeman stated. “The issue has been type of weapons. If that comes up then this board will take it on at that point. There’s no need to jump on that horse now.”

Commission vice chairman Bill Mitchell motioned to approve the resolution, which was approved without objection.

The newly adopted resolution reads as follows:

“Whereas, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states…A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; and

Whereas, Article I, Section 30 in the North Carolina Constitution states…. A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; and

Whereas, a “militia” when properly formed is in fact the people themselves…and includes…all citizens capable of bearing arms; and

Whereas, it being “….necessary to the security of a free State” means that the right of the people to bear arms was, and remains, the ultimate barrier to government tyranny; and

Whereas, the lawless are unaffected by prohibitions imposed upon law abiding citizens’ natural rights; and

Therefore, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners resolves as representatives of the people to defend the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 30 of the North Carolina Constitution and will not consent to unconstitutional laws, executive orders, or foreign/domestic tyranny. Furthermore, the Commissioners call upon the Governor and General Assembly of North Carolina to pass legislation that will guarantee the protection of our God-given right in the defense of our liberty and our persons for all North Carolinians to bear arms.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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