Chardon Trustees last week voted against declaring the township a Second Amendment sanctuary community.
“I don’t believe it’s my place standing as a trustee to offer a personal opinion that affects the entire township,” Trustee Charles Strazinsky, Jr. said during the Aug. 4 meeting.
After seeking review, the Geauga County Prosecutor’s office determined that it would not be a smart move politically to pass a resolution and that the trustees are expressing their own personal opinions about an issue that has nothing to do with local laws in Chardon Township, officials explained.
Trustee Michael Brown was in favor of the resolution. “The Second Amendment is about protecting us from the government point blank. Somebody needs to stand up and make a stance.”
The new sanctuary movement is sweeping the country in response to growing interest in gun control regulations and is largely symbolic, but does not supersede state or federal law, officials said. It has been seen as an effort by communities to express their opposition to gun control legislation at the state level.
During the July 7 trustees meeting, a group of local residents expressed support for the resolution.
Chester Township Trustee Walter “Skip” Claypool voiced his approval, stating that many residents in Chester supported passage of the resolution.
Trustee Timothy M. McKenna stated that there is a concern across the country on what the federal government will mandate for weaponry.
“You hear about it day in and day out about people’s Second Amendment rights,” said Mr. McKenna. “I was a policeman for 37 and a half years and I think you have the right to own a gun as long as you are mentally stable, that you are proficient with a weapon that you own and when they use that weapon there’s still liabilities to it.”
The next trustees meeting is Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.