Second Amendment sanctuary county resolutions spread to cities
FARMINGTON — The city of Farmington is one of at least two New Mexico municipalities that have passed ordinances in reaction to proposed gun control measures being considered by the state legislature.
Both Farmington and Española city councils unanimously passed resolutions Tuesday opposing what they consider unconstitutional gun laws. These resolutions would bar using city resources to enforce unconstitutional gun laws and allow the police chief or director of public safety discretion in enforcing firearm laws.
The Farmington City Council passed the resolution on a 3-0 vote. Councilor Janis Jakino was absent, but Mayor Nate Duckett read a statement from Jakino voicing support for the resolution.
"I find it almost sad that we as a city have to stand up to defend our constitutional rights," said Farmington City Councilor Sean Sharer prior to the vote.
Sharer said he will fight for constitutional rights at any level he can and the resolution was a way Farmington could stand up for those rights at a city level.
"Here in Farmington we are resilient people and we will continue to be so, and we will stand up to Santa Fe if we have to, and we'll draw lines in the sand when it comes to our constitutional rights," he said.
In his own statement, Duckett spoke about the importance of the constitution, which he described as "a founding document of this great nation whose authors and amenders crafted in its words the ingredients to uphold the most free and prosperous nation in the history of mankind."
The two cities are part of the Second Amendment sanctuary movement that has swept across the state over the past few weeks. According to a press release from the New Mexico House Republicans, at least 21 counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries.
"I know that this is an important issue for all of us and I respect all points of view, but we the people need to take a stand on this issue," said Farmington City Councilor Linda Rodgers. "I believe in all of our constitutional rights that were afforded to us by our founding fathers."
Duckett said the courts will ultimately decide if a gun law is unconstitutional, however he questions the constitutionality of some of the proposed measures.
“Certainly, from my standpoint, there are parts of those that are very unenforceable,” Duckett said. “There are parts of those where language is confusing and you wonder what would come of certain situations and what kind of doors they would open. And just on those things you question whether or not the constitutionality exists.”
New Mexico is not unique in its push for Second Amendment sanctuaries
While Farmington’s resolution mirrors San Juan County’s Second Amendment Sanctuary County resolution, the city chose to call itself a Second Amendment Preservation City rather than a Second Amendment sanctuary county.
This term is more closely aligned with wording of ordinances 10 Oregon counties voted on in November. The Statesman Journal reported 10 counties in Oregon asked their voters to vote on Second Amendment Preservation ordinances. Ultimately eight of the 10 Oregon counties passed the ordinances.
These measures are not unique to New Mexico and Oregon. At least two Washington municipalities are mulling Second Amendment sanctuary city resolutions and dozens of counties in Illinois passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions last year.
Montezuma County in Colorado is mulling a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution and Fremont County, also in Colorado, passed one Tuesday.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.