Rifles in gun rack

APACHE COUNTY — It’s official: Apache County’s a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County,” by official resolution of the board of supervisors.

The declaration slipped through on the county’s consent agenda this week, which means the board didn’t actually discuss the ramifications of becoming a sanctuary county.

Presumably, it means Apache County has joined counties across the country determined to prevent the implementation of any gun control measures that make it through Congress or the state legislatures. That could include many measures broadly popular with the public like universal gun background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines or assault weapons. It could also apply to Red Flag laws favored by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, which would make it easier to temporarily suspend the gun rights of people like those subject to domestic violence orders of protection.

Four western states — including Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming and Kansas — and dozens of counties nationwide have already declared themselves second amendment sanctuaries.

The resolution adopted by the board of supervisors this week declares “that this Board will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing laws that unconstitutionally infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.”

The resolution doesn’t make any specific reference to present or future gun control measures the county might refuse to enforce. Existing law already requires most gun buyers to register a purchase, except in private sales and places like gun shows. Congress has repeatedly considered, but refused to adopt, new laws to close those loopholes.

Existing law also revokes the right to a gun for people convicted of felonies, domestic violence and violent crimes.

Congress at one time banned assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, laws the courts have upheld. However, Congress subsequently relaxed those restrictions.

A recent upsurge in mass shootings and domestic violence multiple murders have prompted increased public support for “Red Flag” laws, which would make it possible to temporarily take away guns from people without a criminal conviction. Police could confiscate a gun pending a formal court hearing, a provision used in other states in cases of people who have made threats or after the issuance of a order of protection in domestic violence or harassment cases.

Gun regulation a possible issue in the election

The issue could become active in Arizona between now and the general election. The leading Democratic contender for the US Senate is Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and combat pilot. His wife – Tucson congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – survived an assassination attempt by an apparently deranged gunman that killed four other people. Kelly has advocated for stricter gun control measures nationally, including Red Flag laws.

About 60 percent of Americans favor stricter gun control laws, which includes 86 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of Republicans.

Kelly seeks to unseat appointed incumbent Sen. Martha McSally, also a combat pilot. She has carefully avoided taking a position on new gun control legislation – although she has in the past supported tighter background checks. She was considered a moderate when she served as a Congresswoman, but has become outspokenly conservative since her appointment to the Senate.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has in the past supported some version of a Red Flag law in cases where an order of protection cites a severe threat. Backlash from conservative Republicans has prevented any movement towards adoption of such a law in the legislature.

It’s unclear whether the declaration that Apache County’s now a “second amendment sanctuary” means the county sheriff’s office, probation department and courts would be directed to not enforce such a law if enacted.

Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at paleshire@payson.com

Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at paleshire@payson.com

(19) comments

Cope

Mr. Aleshire,

I'd like to clear up a couple misconceptions in following statement...

"Existing law already requires most gun buyers to register a purchase, except in private sales and places like gun shows. Congress has repeatedly considered, but refused to adopt, new laws to close those loopholes."

There is no registration in the state of Arizona. In fact, very few states require registration. The Form 4473 that one fills out when buying a gun from a dealer does not "register" your gun. It simply clears the way for you to buy one if you wish. The make, model and serial number is not revealed to the feds and the forms can be disposed of after a certain period of time. Gun shows are no exception to this. A private sale is a private sale whether at a gun show or else where and does not currently require a 4473. But buying from a dealer at a gun show still does. That doesn't change.

Tired

Yes!!!

Etta

I 2ND that!

Stephen Wenger

I'm disappointed that Mr. Aleshire accepts the Bloomberg claim that measures like universal gun background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines or assault weapons are "broadly popular with the public."

In 2014, Bloomberg and his billionaire buddies spent approximately $10.5 million - versus just under $500,000 spent by the NRA - to pass an initiative for "universal" background checks in Washington by a margin of only 59.27% to 40.73% - a far cry from their claim of 90% support for such infringement of the right to transfer personally owned firearms. In 2016, they squeaked by a similar measure in Nevada by a margin of only 50.45% to 49.45%, with Clark County being the only one in the state in which the intentionally flawed initiative received a majority vote. The same year, they lost the vote on a similar initiative in Maine by a margin of of 48.20% to 51.80%.

More recently, in Florida, Bloombergers failed to generate enough signatures to place an "assault weapon" ban on the ballot for that state's upcoming election.

Doogie

Okay Navajo County....it's your turn.

2rusty

[thumbup] Agreed, Doogie!

Elisheva

There is a lot of misinformation in this propaganda piece. For example, the claim that you need red flag laws to impound the guns of those convicted of domestic violence. Actually, such a conviction already allows removal of guns because of the violent nature of the conviction. What the red flag laws will do is remove your right to face your accuser and make your case. You will be presumed guilty and must prove yourself innocent under Bloomberg’s violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments.

Clearly the reporter involved needs to bone up on the Constitution of the United States and review journalistic standards.

RESPONSE: This is what the story states about Red Flag laws:

"A recent upsurge in mass shootings and domestic violence multiple murders have prompted increased public support for “Red Flag” laws, which would make it possible to temporarily take away guns from people without a criminal conviction. Police could confiscate a gun pending a formal court hearing, a provision used in other states in cases of people who have made threats or after the issuance of a order of protection in domestic violence or harassment cases."

And: " Existing law also revokes the right to a gun for people convicted of felonies, domestic violence and violent crimes."

-WMI

(Edited by staff.)

NavajoThunder

Alternate title: "Apache County Supports Second Amendment, Author Does Not"

Marc-V-Ridenour

I hope all of Arizona's counties and my home state of Iowa's Marshall County will do likewise

2linden

Sounds like it’s A-OK to sell a gun to a felon at a gun show in Apache County since there are no background checks? Just making sure.

The Concho Cowboy

No it's still illegal, just report them to the ATF. These sanctuary laws are about as useful as the lib ones, ICE can still go in and arrest, don't think the laws don't apply to you anymore. The law is the law and anyone who doesn't follow it is un-American.

longtimeresident

Another alternate Title. Useless County Supervisors make token statement that really means nothing.

Instead the Supervisors should spend their efforts to provide the basic services expected of them. County roads are terrible (even for this time of year), I can't tell you the last time I saw a Deputy in my area, etc. Hmmm, maybe the Deputies don't want to beat up their patrol truck on the nasty rutted roads, or are to many of them up north?

pioneerfamily

I've been a gun owner my entire life. I used to belong to the NRA until it turned into the National Russian Association and LaPierres personal ATM. All my life I've considered the biggest cowards to be those whose trembled in their closets crying " they're coming for my guns". They are not coming for your guns you delusional cowards.

2rusty

Pioneer... I agree about the NRA. I keep my hat to annoy people, but have quit as a member for the same reasons.

Stephen Wenger

I guess that Democratic candidates and office holders such as Beto O'Rourke and Eric "Nuke" Swalwell have been lying about us about their intent to take our semi-automatic firearms. And, while some candidates such as Michael Bloomberg have questioned the practicality or the timing of such declarations, none have disagreed with the principle as a long-term goal. In fact, when a private citizen who headed his church's security team used his semi-automatic pistol to put a quick end to the murders in the church in White Settlement TX, Mini Mike commented, "But it's the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot. You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place. "But it's the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot. You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place." Previously, he had challenged the private ownership of the AR-15 rifle that was used by a good Samaritan to end the massacre at the church in Sutherland Springs TX.

TheChef

The state of Arizona needs to follow suit and respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

ronzim

A Pew Research Center survey , September 2019 found that 60% of Americans say gun laws should be tougher, up from 57% last year and 52% in 2017. The number of states with red flag or extreme-risk laws has increased since the 2018 school shooting in Parkland. Before Parkland, only five states had red flag laws. By August 2019, 17 states and the District of Columbia had adopted them.

PBS reports on and NBC/WSJ poll which found broad bipartisan support for Congressional action on specific gun policies emerged in this poll, with 89 percent of Americans, saying Congress should pass more funding to screen and treat people with mental illness who are trying to purchase guns legally. Eighty-three percent of respondents said background checks should be required if someone wants to buy a gun at a gun show or through a private sale.

When asked if Congress should pass a national so-called “red flag” law, otherwise known as extreme risk protection orders, which allow police to seize a person’s gun after a judge decides that individual poses a threat to themselves or others, 72 percent of Americans supported the idea, compared to 23 percent who did not. Similarly, 72 percent of U.S. adults said a person should be required to obtain a license before buying a gun.

A CNN poll released this week(Feb 2018) recorded support for stricter gun control laws at 69 percent — the highest mark since 1993. It’s up from just 52 percent last October, shortly after the Las Vegas shooting. Nearly half of Republicans, 49 percent, support stricter gun laws, up from 30 percent in October. (Both the CBS News and CNN polls were conducted by SSRS, a public polling firm.)

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey was conducted March 2019 and found that 67 percent of Americans support making US gun laws stricter, while 22 percent say they should be left as they are and 10 percent think they should be made less strict.

And so it goes. There is no doubt that a steadily growing number of Americans want stricter gun safety measures enacted by congress. These public demands are not affected by the outcomes of local ballot measures, but reflect the unscrupulous influence of the NRA and gun lobby in congress.

xpdsniper

And the US constitution says "shall not be infringed", Molon Labe.

ronzim

That is true xpdsniper; however, we both know that the Supreme Court has already ruled that every political jurisdiction in the nation has broad rights to regulate gun safety. Such additional measures as may be passed will be subjected to court challenges and, if the past is prologue, be mostly upheld. For the most part, safety regulations do not generally constitute an "infringement". The infringement prohibition is very limited by public safety priorities.

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