County residents plead for change to resolution

Photo by Alisa Boswell-Gore

Roosevelt County Sheriff Malin Parker addresses commissioners after residents speak to ask them to reconsider their resolution regarding the pending state gun control legislation.

Nearly 100 Roosevelt County residents attended the Roosevelt County Commission meeting Tuesday morning to express concerns about a “watered-down” resolution regarding pending gun control legislation.

House Bill 8 and Senate Bill 8 state that individuals would be charged with a misdemeanor offense for not conducting a background check after transferring ownership of a gun, while House Bill 40 would require background checks at gun shows.

HB 8 passed the House and was sent to the Senate Public Affairs Committee, and SB 8 passed the Senate and was sent to House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee, while HB 40 passed through the HCPAC with a recommendation to pass the law.

The commission meeting began with Commissioner Matthew Hunton clearing up some misinformation, saying “a resolution is not a law; a resolution is simply a letter of opinion that is sent on to Santa Fe, so they understand how we all feel.”

Curry and Quay counties recently passed similar resolutions expressing their disapproval with pending gun control legislation.

Many citizens attending the meeting argued that the Second Amendment was created for a reason – because people have a right to defend themselves and their homes.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states: “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.”

Resident Julie Rooney said that nobody ever challenges the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, or the Eighth Amendment and asked why the Second Amendment should be any different.

“It’s nobody’s business how many dogs I have, how many horses I have, or how many guns I have. It’s nobody’s business on that, certainly not the government’s, if I give one of my children an heirloom from the family,” said Julie Rooney.

“I think of every law enforcement officer in this room … and the dangers that these kinds of laws would put them in,” said John Underhill.

Sheriff Malin Parker requested that commissioners reconsider adopting the resolution and instead, adopt a resolution declaring Roosevelt County a Second Amendment sanctuary county.

Along with approving a resolution to oppose the gun control legislation, Lincoln County also approved a resolution on Tuesday to become a Second Amendment sanctuary county

Commissioner Tina Dixon motioned to hold a special meeting Friday to re-address the resolution, and commissioners approved the motion unanimously. A special meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Friday.

“We need to challenge this; we need to send Santa Fe a message,” Parker said.

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