While one local resident made a plea to the Baldwin Village Board Wednesday, some lawmakers across Wisconsin were on his same track as the State Assembly passed a Second Amendment Sanctuary Bill the very same day.
Scott Miller addressed the Baldwin Village Board June 9, requesting the board consider a resolution in support of St. Croix County becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary. The previous week, the Township of Baldwin had passed a resolution in support of the effort.
Miller said, “If you think by any means, I am some gun-toting crazy dude, you should know that I do not even own a gun, except for the two BB guns I bought for my boys.”
“The more I have educated myself on our founding fathers and the documents they created, I have learned they are pretty amazing pieces of forward-looking work. But the forward-looking work and the documents themselves are only as good as the morals and ethics of the people that are behind the documents,” said Miller.
He said he understands the Second Amendment is a part of politics, but to him it is simply the right to bare arms.
He said the resolution, should the village pass it, would be symbolic. “It would say, ‘Hey, the Village of Baldwin supports the Second Amendment.’ We shouldn’t have to do this, but with what we are seeing these days, passing this is signaling to not only the County Board and future politicians that come into our area, but also our current and future sheriffs,” Miller said.
A Second Amendment sanctuary (SAS), also known as a gun sanctuary, is a state, county or locality in the United States, which has adopted laws or resolutions that oppose or purport to prohibit or impede, the enforcement of certain gun control measures.
SanctuaryCounties.com says 17 Wisconsin counties have received the designation as of March 27th, according to data from the Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty.
Other area counties that are now deemed Second Amendment Sanctuaries include Polk, Washburn, Sawyer and Rusk.
If things continue to pass further than what they have already by the State Assembly, Wisconsin gun owners would not be subject to federal firearm laws under legislation passed by Republicans and one Democrat in the state Assembly on Wednesday.
The bill, would also require Wisconsin gun manufacturers to include a “Made in Wisconsin” stamp on their firearms, bar the enforcement of laws that restrict gun or ammunition sales and bar law enforcement from confiscating guns or ammunition.
It prohibits the enforcement of federal regulations that would ban semi-automatic firearms or assault weapons and regulate the capacity of magazines or require registration of firearms.
“Passing this bill is going to be protecting the Second Amendment rights of the people who live in these state’s borders,” Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, said.
The idea has been deemed unconstitutional in the past in other states because state law cannot override conflicting federal law under the U.S. Constitution.
Baldwin Village Attorney Paul Mahler said at Wednesday’s meeting resolutions he has seen from other municipalities take an extreme view of the Second Amendment. “I don’t think anybody is saying they oppose the Second Amendment. It is how it is interpreted and the role of government,” Mahler said.
He said boards are made at local, state and federal levels to create laws. “It is the court’s rule to say whether those laws are constitutional or not,” said Mahler.
He said it is the job of police to enforce the laws. He said police should not be put in the position to decide whether or not to enforce a law because of how they feel about it. “Going 55 invades my pursuit of happiness under the constitution and I am not going to give anybody in the village a ticket because of it. The resolutions I have seen basically say the Second Amendment can’t have any restrictions, and that is just not the case. There are restrictions to be imposed on all these amendments. You can’t yell fire in a theater and say it’s free speech. You can’t sexually abuse your kid and say you are exercising your religion,” Mahler said.
The village board decided to take some time to look over the resolution and discuss it at the July meeting.