BELFAST — Waldo County Commissioners at their Aug. 18 meeting voted down a resolution introduced by a resident at a previous meeting that would have made the county a so-called Second Amendment sanctuary.

Commissioner Amy Fowler spoke at length about her carefully considered decision not to support the resolution. She said she is a Second Amendment supporter and acknowledged that gun culture is big in the state, but added that the document has no legal authority; it would only be symbolic in nature.

“Because we have a Second Amendment, I find the need to declare a sanctuary, which is a protected area, unnecessary, because we are all protected under our laws and rights and liberties,” she said.

She said current limitations on gun possession would still be in place and existing laws already protect the right to own firearms.

Commissioner William Shorey commented briefly about the resolution, stating that he does not think it is necessary. He said the county operates in a safe manner. Commissioner Betty Johnson made no comment.

The resolution was brought forward by resident Tom Crandall at the commissioners’ July 7 meeting. It is similar to a resolution passed by Piscataquis County. Other resolutions of the same kind have been adopted by a number of Maine towns.

Crandall said he knew it was likely that the resolution would be voted down, but at least residents now know where their commissioners stand on the issue. “I’m not surprised, but I’m disappointed that they don’t seem to respect the Constitution,” he said.

He said there are some Republicans in the county who are thinking about gathering signatures in support of the resolution, which could put it back in front of commissioners again.

Resident Rosemary Pillsbury spoke at the meeting in opposition to the resolution before commissioners voted. She offered many reasons she opposes the resolution and talked about how it will only further divide people along party lines.

“The sanctuary movement attempts to garner from the staff of our local and county officials the majority support they’re missing from our Legislature,” she said.

“… At this time in our history, we’re so stigmatized by identifications that we don’t need, and to me this is just another identification that we don’t need, that tries to lump us all as humans into one mind.”

Related Headlines