Washington County is possibly following other Iowa counties’ lead in declaring itself a “sanctuary county” defending second amendment rights.

District 1 Supervisor Jack Seward, Jr. mentioned during Tuesday’s board meeting that he and Board Chair Richard Young are drafting a resolution similar to what was passed last week by the Jasper and Hardin counties’ boards of supervisors. Seward says the resolution is most similar to Hardin’s, which states that the county opposes the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the constitutional right of the residents to keep and bear arms. Seward’s draft also states that any legislation or state or federal order that infringes upon the right to keep and bear arms shall not be enforced by anyone employed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office or other county employee.

Seward shares why he wants to take up this declaration, “There are a lot of things going on both in the federal government, the federal legislature and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are trying to make rules, and it’s just a statement that says we support the rights that have been enumerated in the Constitution. Those rights, the big “R” rights, are not granted by government, but they’re to be protected by government.”

Seward added that County Attorney John Gish has reviewed the drafted resolution, and the board is planning to discuss and possibly take action at their August 10th meeting. This sanctuary county resolution comes as the Iowa Legislature passed a law this year allowing permitless carry for handguns. Read Seward’s draft below:

SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY COUNTY RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the Right of The People to Keep and Bear Arms is guaranteed as an individual Right under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the Right of The People to Keep and Bear Arms in the legal defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable Right of The People of Washington County, Iowa; and

WHEREAS, The People of Washington County, Iowa, derive economic benefit from all safe forms of firearms recreation, hunting and shooting conducted within Washington County, using all types of firearms allowable under the Untied States Constitution and the laws of the State of Iowa; and

WHEREAS, the Washington County Board of Supervisors was elected to represent the citizens of Washington County, and have sworn by their Oath of Office to uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Iowa; and

WHEREAS, legislation and rules are currently being considered or are expected to be proposed by both the Federal Legislature and the Iowa State Legislature that potentially seeks to infringe on the Constitutionally protected Right of Citizens to Keep and Bear Arms; and

WHEREAS, the Washington County Board of Supervisors wants to ensure that the Rights of the citizens of Washington County, Iowa are protected; and

WHEREAS, the Washington County Board of Supervisors understands that the Federal Legislature and the Iowa State Legislature can not be solely trusted to protect citizens’ Second Amendment Rights; and

WHEREAS, it is desirable to declare that Washington County is a Second Amendment Sanctuary County, as Washington County opposes the enactment of any legislation or the issuance of executive order, that would infringe upon the Constitutional Right of the people of Washington County to Keep and Bear Arms; and

WHEREAS, legislation of the Congress of the United States, or of the Iowa General Assembly, or any order promulgated by the Federal or State of Iowa Executives that infringes upon the constitutionally protected natural Right of the people of Washington County, Iowa to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be enforced by any individual employed by the Washington County (Iowa) Sheriff’s Office, or any other employee of Washington County, Iowa; AND

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED ON THE ______ day of ____________, 2021, that the Washington County Board of Supervisors hereby declares Washington County, Iowa, to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County, and hereby states its opposition to the enactment of legislation, the issuance of executive order, or the promulgation of any regulation after the date of adoption of this resolution that would infringe upon the constitutionally protected natural Right of The People of Washington County, Iowa to Keep and Bear Arms.