ESCANABA - More than 100 people witnessed the Delta County Board of Commissioners support a resolution protecting Second Amendment rights during a recent county board meeting.
The resolution was brought to the board by the newly-formed Delta County Gun Owners Association, whose mission statement deals with the U.S. Constitution and Second Amendment rights relating to the ownership and use of firearms in light of continuing discussion on gun control measures.
The group started with a few members more than a month ago as a Second Amendment preservation group concerned about their gun rights and has now grown to include more than 50 members.
"It's to support our Second Amendment rights and reject any further legislation coming along to restrict our rights," said the group's standing chairman Bob Petersen. "As far as what our goal is, we the people have a much larger voice at our local level, so we're trying to get municipalities and county governments to sign onto this and forward this on to our state and federal governments."
The group's desire is for other counties throughout the state of Michigan to act in a similar fashion.
According to a statement read during the meeting, the Delta County Gun Owners Association strives to promote safe ownership, handling and use of firearms and will be holding seminars and demonstrations to inform the public of safe methods in all aspects of firearms use.
"We're going to have events where we'll have training on guns for those who don't use them and what guns are all about for people who are afraid of them," explained Petersen.
The intent of the group is to engage with the community in activities like communication of gun rights and any efforts effecting or jeopardizing these rights. This includes debunking myths and misinformation regarding firearms.
The group seeks cooperation with elected officials at all levels and plans to coordinate with local and state law enforcement agencies to ensure citizens understand current laws and possible changes in legislation affecting ownership and use of firearms.
The board unanimously adopted the resolution, which states the county board's support to protect the individual right to own firearms as stated in the Second Amendment and to reject any attempt to place restrictions "on any lawfully possessed firearms that are legal and unrestricted." In addition, the resolution notes the board will refrain from supporting any legislation and oppose any attempts to infringe on these rights.
"The entire board felt it was appropriate to pass a resolution that would then be sent on to senators Stabenow and Levin, requesting they preserve and protect the Second Amendment freedoms enshrined by the Constitution," explained Commissioner David Moyle, who originally suggested passing such a resolution.
Moyle said the board was delighted to see such a great turnout at the meeting, noting county board chairman Tom Elegeert had never seen a meeting so well attended in all his years serving on the board.
"The Second Amendment is really not for sportsmen and for hunters...It's to protect us from a tyrannical government in the event our government got out of control," said Moyle.
He said it's important for politicians at all levels to understand how emotional an issue Second Amendment rights are, and they should be fact-based when they discuss this issue.
"We can't sit back and allow other people to fight this fight for us," added Petersen. "We as citizens and Americans have to get up and fight this. The more people that join in this and the more support we can show, the better our results."