Commission adopts resolution supporting US 2nd Amendment
April 15, 2021
Wahkiakum County commissions on Tuesday made good of their intention announced last week to adopt a resolution opposing infringement of rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The resolution came at the request of Commissioner Dan Cothren who feels state and federal agencies are starting to infringe on people's right to bear firearms.
The resolution cites the commissioners' oath of office to uphold the state and federal constitutions, and that there have been no exceptions to the 2nd Amendment.
The resolution, adopted from one adopted in Cowlitz County, states 1. that the commission doesn't and won't condone actions that violate constitutional rights, 2. that the commissioners support state officials who resist efforts "to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms," and 3. the commission encourages the county sheriff and prosecuting attorney to continue discretion in non-enforcement of unconstitutional mandates infringing on the right to bear arms.
The issue drew three comments from county residents.
A Puget Island man identified as Tom Shofner said he supported the board's support of the Bill of Rights.
A second Puget Island resident, Marianne Brightbill, said she doubted the resolution has any legal standing. "This won't do anything," she said.
A third, unidentified woman objected strongly to the ordinance encouraging the law enforcement officers to not enforce mandates that might infringe on the right to bear arms.
"If you're not going to honor past or future laws, why even have a sheriff's department," she said.
"This is the kind of stuff we're fed up with," Cothren replied. "This county voted for Donald Trump; he was a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment."
The discussion grew loud, with the two talking over each other.
Sheriff Mark Howie said that his department will continue to enforce laws. He commented that he and other law enforcement officials believe a statute that came from a recent citizen initiative is unconstitutional. It mandates people to lock up guns in their homes when not in use. Howie said he and others believe the US Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that this was unconstitutional, years before the passage of the initiative.
After more animated discussion, the commission voted to adopt the resolution.
"I'll make a statement," said Commissioner Lee Tischer after voting to adopt the resolution. "I can't dictate what laws the sheriff enforces, and I can't over rule state and federal courts and the laws they make."
In other business:
--Commissioners approved a request to expand the number of hours for a 4-H youth program coordinator;
--They issued a call for bids for asphalting Columbia Street from Jacobson Road to SR 4;
--They approved amendments to the county's roadside vegetation management program and policies;
--They heard a quarterly report from Information Technology Manager Josh Holt covering upgrades to the county's computer network and a benign breach of sheriff's department computer network by a service provider;
--They adopted resolutions honoring telecommunicators, supporting a regional local investment program, and a list of county assets, and
--Commissioner Tischer announced that the county noxious weed control board says treating milfoil weed in Puget Island sloughs is planned for July.