Petition Aims To Make Johnston County A Second Amendment Sanctuary

An online petition that has generated several thousand signatures is urging Johnston County Commissioners to create an ordinance making Johnston County a ‘sanctuary county’ for the Second Amendment.

Organizers will formally present the petition to Commissioners during their February 3rd meeting asking them to support the movement.

Under the ordinance that’s being proposed, county residents want Commissioners to oppose any efforts to restrict their Second Amendment guns rights or gun ownership.

Even before the petition is formally presented, Johnston County Commissioners have told JoCoReport they support the ‘sanctuary county’ ordinance.

“In my short term as commissioner, I have heard, by far, from more people on this issue than any other issue. And, the support has been unanimous.  I can unequivocally state that I will do everything I can to protect the Second Amendments rights of the citizens of Johnston County be it as a sanctuary county or by some other means,” stated County Commissioner Butch Lawter.

“I have long been a strong supporter of the Constitution and the people’s right to keep and bear arms.  I plan to work with the other commissioners and staff to enact a resolution that ensures that this very important right is never threatened in Johnston County,” said Commissioner Patrick Harris.

“I fully support the Constitution of the United States and the Second Amendment. I am committed to protecting those rights, under the Second Amendment, for our Johnston County residents,” stated Commissioner Tony Braswell.

“For generations we have learned responsible gun use. I have passed these values and traditions down to my children.  Gun ownership and the right to defend ourselves is important.  Guns might be controversial to some people but it isn’t to me and my family.  I support the Second Amendment, gun rights and legal ownership, and Johnston County family values.  It is dangerous to encourage anyone to set aside the Second Amendment, or any part of the Constitution.  When you start down the path of taking away one part of the Constitution, it doesn’t take long for other portions to come under attack.  I support all parts of our Constitution and I will support a Second Amendment resolution in Johnston County.  It’s the right thing to do,” Commissioner Vice Chairman Chad Stewart said.

“First off I feel very fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world.  I believe the restraint the Second Amendment imposes on government is imperative for a free society.  I also believe that all of the freedoms the Constitution renders citizens of the United States are of equal importance.  So therefore any opportunity that presents itself I plan to stand on the side of freedom and liberty.  I have been very impressed with the amount of citizen support on this matter.  My hope is this will illicit more participation in all issues concerning Johnston County,” said Commissioner Larry Wood.

“On most issues we get feedback typically on both sides, pro or con. The feedback on this issue has been 100 percent pro. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that so many people feel like they have to lobby the board for support. Every member of this board is 100 percent solidly behind the constitution and the 2nd Amendment. We haven’t had much to say because, well, it’s sort of like ratifying how we feel about the Flag, and motherhood and American apple pie. I know there are forces out there who would seek to undo America as we know it. This board will always support those patriotic principles that made this country great. Yes, we will document our full support for the constitution and all the amendments, especially the 2nd amendment,” Commissioner Chairman Ted Godwin told JoCoReport.

Already about two dozen counties in North Carolina have adopted similar ordinances or proclamations.  They include Pitt, Wayne, Cabarrus, Davidson, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Union, Wilkes, Yadin, Beaufort, Ashe, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Currituck, McDowell, Lincoln and Surry counties.

Residents in neighboring Harnett County are also pushing for a ‘sanctuary county’ ordinance from their commissioners.

In Harnett County, Board Chairman Howard Penny told residents in attendance at a recent meeting to be patient. “We may not be answering you tonight. But it has not fallen on deaf ears, we are trying to craft what (ours should say), because each county is a little bit different. We are Harnett County, so ours will be worded in accordance with Harnett County.”

Editors Note: We were unable to reach Commissioner Jeff Carver for a comment before our news deadline.