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Polk County commissioners vote to become 'Second Amendment Sanctuary'

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 17:41:40-05

LAKELAND, Fla. — A national movement is catching on in the Tampa Bay area.

Polk County is the newest addition to the growing Second Amendment Sanctuaries.

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On Tuesday, commissioners unanimously approved a resolution which basically vocalizes the county leaders’ support of the second amendment.

When ABC Action News asked commissioner Bill Braswell what the point was in making a symbolic move, Braswell said it was to send a message to state law makers.

“It’s cut and dry and it’s trying to get a message to make sure people know we are here, we are listening and we are watching. And we don’t want to become Virginia, Chicago or California,” Braswell said.

While all leaders eventually voted yes to the resolution, it was not a quick decision.

Last Friday, commissioners had issues with the word ‘sanctuary’ because in the dictionary it eludes to the exemption of following laws. Before the vote, commissioner Rick Wilson made it clear that will not be the case.

“It’s a negative feel to it. But I do not want anyone coming or thinking they can come to our county and not adhere to our laws,” Wilson said, adding that no one, not even the local government will be eliminated from following state laws.

”Being that I have said that I want to assure you that I and these commissioners are absolutely 100 percent support and believe and always will protect the rights of our citizens,” he added.

According to The Trace, about 400 cities and counties have joined the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement. In certain states, like Illinois, local governments are able to avoid new laws passed which infringe on the second amendment.

It’s become such a big discussion that the National Rifle Association has published a blanket statement regarding the Second amendment sanctuary.

As the Nation’s oldest civil rights organization, we recognize civic engagement as a virtue not a vice. Liberty is reliant upon the participation of free people, and this includes the vast number of citizens and communities who are lawfully exercising their rights under the First Amendment to defend their freedoms under the Second. It is the tyrannical nature of politicians that triggers sanctuary, not the other way around. The NRA has steadfastly defended freedom for nearly 150 years, and we have no intention of suppressing virtuous voices against governmental oppression—censoring is what our opponents do.

When ABC Action News asked the Polk County Sheriff’s Office about the resolution, we were told Sheriff Grady Judd did not want to comment.