RALEIGH — Macon and Pender Counties have joined the growing list of North Carolina counties passing Second Amendment resolutions.
After months of discussions, the Macon County commissioners finally passed a resolution on Tuesday, March 10 by a vote of 4-1. Commissioner Paul Higdon was the lone “no” vote. The meeting was a long one, with two votes being taken and the final vote being called after 10 pm.
Local resident and former Sheriff’s Office employee Donnie Holden is the man who wrote a 2nd Amendment sanctuary resolution for the board and has spearheaded the Macon County movement. His proposal says the county should not “authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings or offices” that would infringe on the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.
Holden’s version wasn’t acceptable to the board’s attorney Chester Jones. Holden offered a compromise resolution to Commissioners Karl Gillespie and Paul Higdon and another resolution with broader language was written by Jones.
“That resolution is not worth the paper it was printed on for the people of this county,” said Holden during public comments.
Jones said that he believed there were issues with Holden’s version and that the resolution he crafted for the county commissioners “provides the most protection for the county.”
Commissioner Paul Higdon read Holden’s resolution into the record and called for a vote which failed 3-2 with commissioners Ronnie Beale and Gary Shields and Chairman Jim Tate voting no.
Holden and a number of others walked out of the meeting after his resolution was voted down.
On March 16, Pender County’s commissioners unanimously passed a Second Amendment resolution. The resolution reads in part, that the commissioners have declared Pender County to be a “Second Amendment Constitutional Rights Protected County” and that the county and its officials will “respect and defend” the Second Amendment rights of its citizens.
In addition, the resolution “implores the North Carolina Legislature and U.S. Congress to reject any provision, law or regulation that may further infringe, have the tendency to infringe or place any burdens on the Constitutional Rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.”
There were not that many public comments made. One citizen who spoke in favor of the motion was Rick Kenan, a park ranger who has worked in law enforcement for eleven years. He thanked the commission for “taking up this second amendment resolution in a timely manner” and espoused his support for the measure.
After the public comments portion of the meeting concluded, commissioners addressed the resolution. Ten seconds elapsed between the time the motion was made to when it was passed by a vote of 5-0.
One of the holdout areas to the west has been Buncombe County. Proponents of a Second Amendment measure are specifically targeting Brownie Newman who is the Chairman of the Buncombe County Commissioners.
Newman has drawn the ire of the Mountain Area Citizens PAC (MACPAC), a group whose goal is to “ensure government and elected officials are representing the average mountain citizen.” The group has formed a petition aimed at Newman, who MACPAC’s petition says is the “sole obstacle” standing in the way of a Second Amendment resolution.