Polk County looking to become Tennessee's first


Polk County may become the first in Tennessee to become a self-declared gun sanctuary community.

A resolution proposal is on Thursday evening's Polk County Commission agenda to adopt such legislation in accordance with the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment, the right to bear arms.

Polk County would join North Carolina neighbor Cherokee County in embracing such a policy. The meeting is set for the Copper Basin Community Center.

Other counties, and cities across the nation, especially in the Western states, have adopted similar resolutions, meaning they would not enforce any gun control measures passed by state lawmakers, for example.

Supporters of the resolution in Cherokee County emphasize they are the first of the North Carolina's 100 counties to declare itself a gun sanctuary. They pointed out this is a growing, and symbolic movement, which began out West — in New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and back in Illinois.

More than two dozen counties, and a few cities, have approved gun sanctuary status, according to an article in the March 13 edition of The Alamogordo (New Mexico) Daily News.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer had detailed coverage of the Cherokee County resolution last week, including comments from a number of advocates on both sides of the issue.

Polk County officials,  rural neighbors of Bradley County, are proposing they become the first of Tennessee's 95 counties to become a gun sanctuary county. 

Polk is comparable to Cherokee County, located on opposite sides of the rugged and mountainous borders of Tennessee and North Carolina.

The resolution is being proposed by new Polk County Commissioner Jeremy Kimsey, who reportedly has close friends in the Murphy, N.C., community.

A majority of comments published by the Observer were supportive of Cherokee County becoming a gun sanctuary.

One female resident said, "It means we get to keep our guns, regardless of what those in Washington say."

"It means God says you can carry," said another.

“It means that we the people refuse to have our natural right to self protection and preservation stolen by a tyrannical government full of liberal cry babies that have armed guards for their families, but don’t want us to have a shotgun to protect our families,” proclaimed another woman.

Critics on the newspaper's social media poll complained the resolution was needlessly wordy, and a few said they wished commissioners felt as strongly about healthcare for everyone.

Cherokee County Commissioner C.B. McKinnon shared his county's resolution with the newspaper and responded to a request for comment.

“People are recognizing the threats to this nation," he said. "Without armed citizens, our nation will not stand. Only the 2nd Amendment, and patriots, can protect the Constitution. People, not government, uphold our Constitution and way of life.”

News accounts say some of the resolutions in Western states were primarily due to an influx of undocumented migrants in that section of the nation, but government officials have stepped up to emphasize these actions are merely symbolic.

Whether gun sanctuary resolutions are constitutional has yet to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, but some elected officials say  the  measures “violate the principles on which the country was founded.”

“We’re in danger of destroying the basic fabrics of a representative democracy by saying we can decide what’s constitutional, or what isn’t,” said Madison County (Illinois) board member Bruce Malone.

Cherokee County’ resolution has yet to draw widespread public scrutiny, or comment, from North Carolina government officials. 

Regarding gun control advocates, who might point out the shootings and mass killings across the nation and around the world, sanctuary supporters have added a clause to the pro-resolution stance.

“The criminal misuse of firearms is due to the fact that criminals do not obey laws, and this is not a reason to abrogate or abridge the unalienable, constitutionally guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens,” the Polk and Cherokee resolutions state.


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