BAKERSVILLE – People packed the conference room at the County Administration Building in Bakersville Monday, Feb. 3, to show both support and opposition for Mitchell County’s Second Amendment Protection Resolution.
The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution, which declares the county a Second Amendment Constitutional Rights Protection county.
“Whereas, it is acknowledged that the right of individuals to keep and bear arms is under attack in the United States of America by elected officials from many levels of government,” the resolution reads. “The Mitchell County government will utilize all legal means necessary to protect the Second Amendment rights of Mitchell County citizens, including, but not limited to legal action.”
A capacity crowd heard the commissioners approve the resolution. Extra chairs were brought into the conference room to accommodate the larger-than-usual crowd, and many attendees were left waiting in the hall watching through the windows after the room rapidly reached maximum occupancy.
Three people made public comments about the matter before the commissioners voted on the resolution.
Jim Plato, of Penland, began the public comments segment and spoke about the dangers of guns and questioned whether gun owners are truly safer.
“This resolution could be based on an irrational fear of someone coming to hurt us or coming to take our guns,” Plato said.
Robin Ellis followed Plato and said she is a gun owner and has been around guns all of her life, but added she believes the resolution is “rooted in fear-mongering” and suggested local governments are jumping on the bandwagon of approving second amendment protection resolutions.
“No one wants your blessed guns,” Ellis said. “This resolution lacks any real legal power, and it’s really not worth the paper it’s written on.”
Cass Buchanan made the final public comments and said he believes in the second amendment and fully supports the resolution.
“I feel like the American people are David, and the government is Goliath,” Buchanan said. “I believe as long as we are doing everything we possibly can to protect the second amendment, that’s what we should do.”
Buchanan’s comments were followed by a wave of applause from the majority of meeting attendees.
County Attorney Lloyd Hise reiterated the word “sanctuary” is not within the approved resolution, despite popular belief and recent discussion. Instead, the resolution means Mitchell County will protect the second amendment rights of its citizens.
Hise said while it is unlikely anyone will ever come for the guns owned legally by county citizens, the resolution would help protect them in such a scenario.
“If they do come, we’ve made our statement,” Hise said. “We are going to oppose it.”
Hise’s comments were followed by more applause.
After the board approved the resolution, meeting attendees erupted into applause again, with some coming to their feet and nodding fervently in approval.
Several attendees approached the board after the approval and personally thanked them while offering handshakes and words of encouragement.