Sheriff says he can’t support Second Amendment sanctuary

Updated: Feb. 4, 2020 at 4:14 PM EST
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CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - The St. Lawrence County Sheriff says he can’t support a Second Amendment sanctuary. This comes a day after dozens of citizens called for just that.

Several county residents stood up in front of lawmakers Monday night asking them to protect their constitutional rights by becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe and other public officials listened.

On Tuesday, Bigwarfe said he just can’t support the selective enforcement of laws.

“I can't pick and choose laws. It might be a burglary. It might be the SAFE Act. I can't start picking and choosing what laws I'm going to enforce. That would be dangerous for the office and the citizens of St. Lawrence County,” he said.

The Second Amendment sanctuary group wants the legislature to forbid county employees from enforcing state gun laws. Bigwarfe said he supports the Second Amendment, but not the sanctuary part.

“I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I'm a hunter. I own guns. I have my whole life and I'll continue to be,” he said.

This issue is a hot potato for elected officials in St. Lawrence County. Almost all want to be seen as strong defenders of the Second Amendment.

Legislators listened Monday. They say gun control acts passed in Albany have always rubbed people here the wrong way. That includes the SAFE Act passed 7 years ago.

“The SAFE Act definitely touched it off. What we're seeing is an accumulation of our rights slipping away. And the people have reacted,” said Kevin Acres, county legislator.

But Acres said it's the state Legislature that has to be convinced. He doesn't think a Second Amendment sanctuary designation will do the trick.

“The Second Amendment sanctuary is, you know, I don't think it's a practical method. The law is the law,” he said.

Citizens who spoke up Monday say it won’t be their last visit to the county legislature.

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