Second Amendment ordinance draws fire

  • Second Amendment ordinance draws fire
    Second Amendment ordinance draws fire

Last week’s Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners meeting spotlighted some strong opinions both against and in favor of a proposed 2nd Amendment Sanctuary ordinance brought before the board last month. Sheriff Stacy Jarrard and board member Bobby Mayfield both spoke out against the ordinance, but for different reasons.
Chester Doles, chairman of the American Patriots USA local chapter, who spoke in favor of the ordinance the group proposed last month, and his son, Zane took the opposite viewpoint.
The aim of the Sanctuary ordinance is to preempt any attempt at passing gun control measures similar to the ones proposed by Virginia’s governor Ralph Northam.
Seven of Natham’s proposals have now passed the House, but may face some opposition in the Senate.
 Among those passed by the House are universal background checks; limiting handgun purchases to once a month; and a so-called “red flag” bill, allowing authorities to temporarily take guns away from a person judged to be a danger to themselves or others.
Though the American Patriots USA group first reported that they had obtained 1,000 signatures supporting the ordinance the actual number falls short, with only 300 reportedly being gathered so far.
Jarrard said board chairman Chris Dockery called him last week and asked where he stood on the Sanctuary ordinance. Jarrard, who teaches gun safety courses, hosts an annual gun sale and offers an annual shooting competition each year is not in favor of the ordinance, he said, though he supports the 2nd Amendment.
“I don’t know what benefit such an ordinance would have,” he said. “Georgia has strong laws protecting the 2nd Amendment.”
Jarrard is concerned that adopting such an ordinance could cause a backlash from those who want to see stricter gun controls in place.
“I don’t know if you want to get involved in all that,” he said. “Now if Georgia laws ever changed, if I was told I had to go and confiscate someone’s guns, I would have to leave my job. I believe in the 2nd Amendment and I believe in the right to bear arms.”
Commissioner Bobby Mayfield agreed with Jarrard. He said he is “a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment … and a card carrying member or the NRA. I did not go to Iraq and fight for our beloved country alongside Commissioner [Jeff] Moran and Chairman [Chris] Dockery just to see our precious freedoms discarded.”
He said he couldn’t foresee Georgia “ever sinking to the level of Virginia….”
His concern, he said, was the wording of the ordinance he was given. In one section it states, “all federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition are a violation of the Second Amendment and Article I, Section I, Paragraph VIII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia ….”
“When you say ALL [Mayfield’s emphasis] federal laws violate the 2nd Amendment, you have declared your intent to negate all federal laws. I think this is a very poor choice of words,” Mayfield said.
Commissioner Jeff Moran suggested rather than adopting a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary ordinance the county discuss “a Pro-Constitution County proclamation which not only makes a statement of our commitment to uphold our 2nd Amendment but also the rest of the Constitution and its Amendments.” He added that if the board decides to adopt a 2nd Amendment sanctuary ordinance, it would get his support.
Doles told the board the ordinance submitted was “the same as ones filed in several states, and adopted. And don’t forget, Georgia came this close to having Stacey Abrams be our governor. And she is a socialist. The time for fence sitting is over.”
Doles issued a “Muster Call to Action” to gather signatures for a petition the group has been circulating for since January. His original event had to be cancelled due to weather, but has been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, 1 p.m. at Park & Rec.
Doles was featured prominently in local news last year when he organized a pro-Trump rally that had apparent ties to white supremacy groups. When asked about this he said this particular issue is “not a race thing.”
Meanwhile, Mayfield told The Nugget he spoke to Doles after the meeting.
“I think we can come up with verbiage that doesn’t put us in opposition to the federal government,” he said. “I think all the commissioners support the 2nd Amendment, and we can come up with something. The devil is in the details.”