Local officials in Paris, Maine, voted to declare their town a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” joining a pro-gun movement that is sweeping liberty-loving jurisdictions across the United States.
Paris’ board of selectmen approved a sanctuary resolution Tuesday night, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.
“A lot of us believe it’s a right that we have and a right we’d like to keep,” Board Chairman Rusty Brackett said of the pro-gun-rights decision, which he added was mostly symbolic at this point, a local CBS affiliate reports.
“I don’t even want to say, ‘If push comes to shove,’ but ideally, if push comes to shove, do we have the right to say, ‘No, not in Paris?’” Brackett also said. “We’re a constitutional town.”
Local governments and law enforcement officials throughout the country have responded to state-level gun control laws by declaring Second Amendment “sanctuaries” that pledge to protect citizens’ gun rights by not enforcing measures that they say run afoul of the Constitution.
Maine legislators have been considering gun laws that would include a so-called “red flag” confiscation bill, which would allow judges to take someone’s guns away if that person were deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. A similar bill was passed by Maine lawmakers last year, but was vetoed by Republican Governor Paul LePage.
While gun control groups see the confiscation effort as a means of preventing potential tragedies, gun advocates warn that such measures are ripe for abuse. Gun Owners of Maine President Todd Tollhurst warned that last year’s bill would have allowed spurned romantic partners to have someone’s guns confiscated by court order.
“So basically anyone can attack your gun rights,” Tolhurst said in a Bangor Daily News report. “All they have to do is tell a little lie that cannot be discovered.”
Paris, Maine, isn’t the only New England locality that has considered the sanctuary option for its citizens’ gun rights; a Rhode Island state senator is encouraging municipalities in his home state to declare themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries as well.