Stark County declared 'Second Amendment Advocate' in resolution
DICKINSON — The Stark County Commission passed a resolution at its Tuesday morning, May 5, meeting unanimously supporting the Second Amendment in the wake of red flag and gun control laws sweeping the country.
The resolution signed by the commission stated that the Board of Commissioners expresses its intent to uphold the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Stark County and its intent that public funds of the county not be used to restrict Second Amendment rights or to aid in the unnecessary and unconstitutional restriction of the rights under the Second Amendment of the citizens of Stark County to bear arms.
The resolution follows Emmons County's recent passage of a resolution echoing similar sentiments and was spearheaded by local business owner and United States Army veteran Andrew Kordonowy.
"I drafted our resolution after receiving a copy of the one that was used in Emmons County," Kordonowy, owner of Cerberus Security in Dickinson, said. "The inspiration behind the resolution is that we are tending to see red flag laws and the elimination of due process around the country, and it was even attempted in our own state this last legislative session. We wanted to show that this region of our state is for our constitutional rights and that our law enforcement, our community and public servants will not use our resources to go against the will of the people and constitution — state and national."
Speaking to the impetus for the movement, Kordonowy said that as a veteran and staunch constitutionalist he felt that the call to defend the constitution was an oath that didn't come with an expiration date.
"I swore an oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic," he said. "As someone who has taken that oath of office to be active in things like this, upholding and defending of the constitution is important. When we see things like this recent attempt to take due process from citizens, we need to get involved."
The Stark County Board of Commissioners declared by resolution that its intent to oppose unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms is not limited to a resolution but will be vehemently pursued through court action if needed.
"We wanted to make sure, as a commission, that Stark County residents knew where we stand on the second amendment with everything going on right now in our country," Carla Arthaud, Stark County commissioner, said. "Our county stands strong with the second amendment and this resolution is our promise of that."
Addressing the recent attempts at the state level to pass a red flag law, Arthaud said that she hopes its failure at the most recent legislative session and the passing of resolutions by counties in support of the constitution will prevent future attempts at removing their inalienable rights from citizens.
"I can't speak for the rest of the commissioners, but I am very glad that the red flag law didn't pass, and I hope it sends a message that we don't want laws like that passed in our state," she said. "Citizens in our county can rest assured with our resolution and sheriff's office that we will support their constitutional rights."
The resolution declared Stark County as a “Second Amendment Advocate.”
As the senior law enforcement officer in the county, Stark County Sheriff Corey Lee said that he was proud of the resolution and commitment to upholding their oath of office displayed by commissioners on Tuesday morning.
"The commission were asked today to pledge support to the second amendment and to the residents of Stark County that we are not going to follow suit with some of these other counties and states that are limiting the rights of their citizens and infringing on their constitutional rights," Lee said. "Ultimately, it is up to the sheriff's office to enforce these laws or not enforce these laws, and we are going to support the constitution while I'm sheriff."
Lee said that upholding the second amendment as sheriff is something he will continue to do so long as the people of Stark County continue to place their trust in him with their vote.
"When you disarm your citizens you empower criminals," Lee said. "Today was about asking the commission to support their sheriff's office, and they did so unanimously."
Fargo Democratic Rep. Karla Rose Hanson was the primary backer of a bipartisan bill allowing judges to issue protection orders temporarily preventing people deemed dangerous from possessing guns. The Republican-controlled House easily rejected it in a 76-17 vote in February.
Attempts to reach Wardner for comment on the passage of the resolution in his home county were unsuccessful.