Locals Support Second Amendment Sanctuary Movement to Protect Gun Owners
CLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – A movement to create sanctuaries for the Second Amendment, seeking to pass resolutions or ordinances to protect citizens’ Second Amendment rights, has made its way to our area.
Supporters of the sanctuary movement say they are trying to protect lawful gun owners from proposed gun-related measures that could infringe on their Second Amendment rights.
“We’re not trying to overturn any laws, we are just trying to get counties and towns to say no more; we’ve had enough,” Jim Kronmiller, the organizer for the movement in Venango County, told exploreClarion.com.
“‘Shall not be infringed’ says it all. I won’t stand for these unconstitutional laws nor will the true American people,” local resident and Jefferson County organizer Corey Botelho said.
Dave Bowser, the organizer for Clarion County, noted “If they keep whittling away our rights, at some point in time, they’re going to say ‘no one needs a scope, no one really needs to see 300 yards,’ and that’s going to affect even just the sportsmen and hunters. But, by the time they get to that, it’ll be too late, because more restrictions will already be in place.”
Kronmiller used the proposed “red flag law,” put forward by Republican State Representative Todd Stephens, of Montgomery County, late last year, as an example.
“The red flag law, as it is written now, is horrendous. If you have a name and a phone number, you could call the sheriff and say ‘he has a gun and he’s threatening to shoot people,’ and they could go and do a no knock entry, and if that person does have a firearm, confiscate it and arrest them. How many he-said-she-said’s would there be?”
The Second Amendment Sanctuary movement seeks to combat what its supporters consider restrictive and unconstitutional laws through petitioning local government bodies, from counties to municipalities, to pass resolutions or ordinances to prohibit the passage of or impede the enforcement of such laws, including legislation on items like emergency protection orders, enforcement of gun background checks, and red flag laws.
According to Kronmiller, there are currently activists in every one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties working on this issue, mainly seeking to educate people on the issues and to get signatures on petitions.
The petitions and the measures they support were all designed by the Pennsylvania Gun Owners of America (GOA) organization.
According to a statement from Dr. Val Finnell, GOA Pennsylvania Director, published on the organization’s website, Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinances are “an effective way to send a message to your state representatives and Congress, that their citizens will not support those who violate their rights and attempt to dismantle the Second Amendment.”
Kronmiller noted the movement was sparked by proposed gun-related restrictions in the state of Virginia and has since spread to many other states.
“These laws were being rammed down people throats (in Virginia), and we don’t want that happening here in Pennsylvania,” he said.
The county organizer for each of the local counties takes on the task of recruiting other volunteers, to help get petitions signed, to get petitions out to local businesses and places where people can find them, and to set up social media pages for people to network.
In Clarion County, Bowser said he currently has over a dozen volunteers, who will be helping with petitions at an upcoming gun show, as well as out in the community. The Clarion County area also has an associated Facebook page available to those interested in learning more or becoming involved.
According to Bowser, the reception in the area so far has been mostly positive, and petitions are currently available at Sportsman’s Outfitters in Knox, and he hopes to have them available at several other area locations soon, as well.
In Venango County, Kronmiller has been hard at work with around 20 volunteers out working with petitions. Petitions are readily available at ten locations around the county.
For those in Venango County who would like more information, to find a petition location, or to get in touch with a volunteer, there is also a local Facebook page available.
In Jefferson County, Botelho noted that he is currently organizing; however he does not yet have a Facebook page set up or any petition locations settled. He is also looking not only for local volunteers but for someone to take over as organizer for the county.
“I am supposed to do Armstrong, and then Jefferson, while helping Clarion,” Botelho noted, stating that he is actively searching for someone to “take point” in Jefferson County.
“I’m really looking for someone to be the face.”
Botelho noted anyone in the Jefferson County area who is interested in volunteering, either generally to help with petitions, or to take over the position of organizer for Jefferson County, is welcome to contact him via Facebook or by email at email@example.com.
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