By Mark Waite
Nye County Commissioners are studying gun rights resolutions passed elsewhere in the country for adoption to send a message to the federal government opposing more gun control.
They follow two gun rights rallies in Pahrump over concerns at the federal level about more gun control following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December.
An Elko County resolution passed Feb. 6, states: “The Elko County, Nevada County Commission in conjunction with the Elko County Sheriff will uphold the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and will act in conformity with our sworn duties as duly-elected officials charged with public trust and in conjunction with prior decisions by the United Court will not enforce any statutes, edicts, presidential directives or other regulations and proclamations which conflict and are expressly preempted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.”
The Elko County Commission strongly urges the U.S. Senate to reject international treaties that will infringe on the Second Amendment rights of American citizens including the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms CIFTA or the UN Programme of Action.
The Elko County resolution states: “Neither the United States Congress nor the Nevada Legislature should entertain consideration of any new legislation that would infringe on constitutionally protected rights under the Second Amendment through any means, including additional restrictions on lawful firearms and accessories, or on the possession, use, sale or transfer of legitimately owned firearms.”
Elko County commissioners said Congress and the Legislature should recognize existing laws available to combat gun violence.
Despite the recent mass shootings at places like Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo. and Oak Creek, Wis., the Elko resolution states Americans are actually safer from violent crime than they have been at any time since the mid-1960s.
“Hopefully we’ll be looking at doing something for Nye County in a similar fashion,” Nye County Commissioner Butch Borasky said at a Feb. 19 meeting.
Borasky plans to announce at the next county commission meeting in Tonopah a resolution pieced together from different counties and municipalities.
Borasky wants to toughen a 1994 Nye County resolution to send a message to the federal government. That 1994 resolution quotes Article 1, Section 11 of the Nevada Constitution, which states citizens have the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and other lawful purposes.
It states: “in order to provide for the emergency management of the county of Nye and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of Nye County and its inhabitants, every citizen residing in Nye County will be allowed to maintain firearms of their choice, together with ammunition.”
Borasky provided a copy of a resolution passed by Mesa County, Colo. Feb. 11 resolving not to enforce any unlawful and unconstitutional statutes, executive orders or other regulations and proclamations which conflict and are expressly preempted by U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the right to bear arms.
He also received a letter from Linn County, Ore. Sheriff Tim Mueller to Vice President Joe Biden in which he states: “any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the president offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County, Oregon.”
Mueller says politicians are attempting to exploit the deaths of innocent victims advocating laws that would prevent honest, law abiding Americans from possessing certain firearms and ammunition magazines.
Commissioner Donna Cox referred to a sample resolution suggested by the Nye County Republican Party Central Committee. It starts off with wording from the Second Amendment: “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The NCRCC resolution cites a few recent court cases in favor of gun rights: U.S. vs. Miller, which upheld an Arkansas man’s rights to transport a double-barreled, 12-gauge shotgun across state lines; District of Columbia v. Heller, a policeman who appealed to the Court of Appeals after the District of Columbia refused his request to register a hand gun and McDonald v. Chicago, that challenged a ban on private handgun ownership in the Windy City.
“The Board of Commissioners of Nye County, Nevada desires to adopt a formal resolution to preserve and defend the natural rights to self-defense, to keep and bear arms and ammunition for personal and public safety, security and defense,” the sample NCRCC resolution reads.
It continues: “The county of Nye, Nevada will not enforce any unlawful and unconstitutional statutes, executive orders or other regulations and proclamations which conflicts and are expressly preempted by the United States Supreme Court’s rulings on the right of an individual to keep and bear arms.”
The proposed resolution asks Nye County Commissioners to call upon Congress, the governor and general assembly of the state to preserve and defend the Second Amendment right to bear arms and Section 11 of the state constitution that gives rights of the citizens of Nevada to nullify any statutes, executive orders or other regulations and proclamations that infringe on the right of an individual to keep and bear arms.
The NCRCC proposed resolution goes farther than the Elko County one. It states: “Be it resolved that the Board of County Commissioners of Nye County, Nevada calls upon the head of each household within Nye County possess and maintain a firearm or firearms fit for personal and public defense, to acquire professional training in the proper use, storage and care of said firearm s and to maintain a safe household regarding said firearm s in an effort to prevent accidents and/or negligence resulting in damage, injury or other tragedy. Those lawfully exempted from owning or possessing firearms to be exempted from this provision.”
Bill Cairns, the chairman of the NCRCC, formerly hosted a nationally syndicated show on the Second Amendment. During a speech by U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner Feb. 15, Cairns said there’s no mention anywhere in the Second Amendment or Federalist papers that talk about background checks. He called it a back-door attempt at registering gun owners.