The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Wednesday to pass a resolution declaring Maricopa County a “Second Amendment Preservation County.”
The state’s most populous county of 4.4 million residents joined dozens of counties across the country and four others in Arizona in marking itself as a gun sanctuary, according to The Associated Press.
The resolution doesn’t create new policy – it just reaffirms the board’s commitment to the Second Amendment and vows to avoid actions that would infringe on what members believe are residents’ constitutional rights when it comes to guns.
The resolution originally included a stipulation promising not to use government funds and other resources toward anything the board believed to be anti-Second Amendment, but that portion was dropped during the meeting due to concerns over its legality.
Chairman Clint Hickman and Supervisors Jack Sellers, Steve Chucri, and Bill Gates voted in favor of the measure, while Steve Gallardo voted no.
Gallardo said resolutions should concern issues that bring the community together under one mission, like the one the board signed supporting domestic violence awareness.
“I never thought I would be opposing a resolution,” Gallardo said during the meeting. “A resolution should not be divisive; it should not be partisan. That’s up to the Legislature.”
Hickman said he supported the resolution due to the concerns of his constituents in rural areas of the state.
“I have a district that has far-flung people away from law enforcement and they feel, the good guys feel, that they need to make sure that they never have their rights infringed on arming themselves to protect their property, their homes, and their family,” he said.
Members of the public spoke out at the meeting both in favor and in opposition to the resolution.
Daniel McCarthy, a businessman who is challenging Republican Sen. Martha McSally for her seat this fall, thanked the board for its approval but urged it to reconsider the portion it had dropped.
“I commend you guys slightly, but I ask you to go further,” McCarthy said. “This is a God-given right, okay? And just remind the public of that.”
Laura Hudson, a volunteer with nonprofit gun safety advocacy group Moms Demand Action, was one of those denouncing the resolution.
“This resolution leaves a decision about what is constitutional up to personal opinion, and undermines the rule of law and sets a dangerous precedent,” Hudson said. “It ultimately makes us less safe.”