DON’T TREAD ON ME: Audience members review copies of the resolution regarding constitutional rights approved by the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners on Friday.

Archived Story

Republicans want actions to protect the U.S. Constitution

Published 11:05pm Friday, January 18, 2013

The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners is sending President Barack Obama a message — literally.
A copy of a resolution concerning protection of the Second and Tenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution — adopted by the board Friday — will be sent to Obama.
In a special, called meeting, the commissioners — only the four Republican members of the board — adopted a resolution “to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States” and the North Carolina constitution. The four Republicans made it clear they believe gun registration, banning specific kinds of weapons and accessories, requiring “extreme” background checks and other related restrictions are infringements on the Second Amendment. They contend such restrictions have been scientifically proven to be ineffective in protecting the public.
Commissioner Hood Richard made the motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner Stan Deatherage seconded the motion.
“I intend to vote for this resolution calling for constitutional convents simply because the Constitution of the United States has been stretched to its limits. It has been abused during the past 10 to 20 years, to say nothing of the last three or four. It is the one way, it is the tool that was given to the public by framers of the Constitution to call rogue, renegade, bad governments into line,” Richardson said. “We need a need a Constitutional convention to let them know that the people are actually in charge and not the boys in Washington, D.C., who are doing the deals and swapping the bucks around.”
Deatherage and Commissioners Al Klemm and Gary Brinn also weighed in on the resolution.
“I beg that we act now to preserve and protect the liberty that Thomas Jefferson spoke of — the sacrifice that will ensure sustainability as a continued republic for us and our children,” Deatherage said.
“Our founders understood how important it was for citizens to have the same weapons as the military,” Brinn said. “The citizens are the counter to government out of control. That was their reason.”
“I firmly support this resolution,” said Al Klemm, who presided over the meeting in his capacity as vice chairman of the board in the absence of Chairman Jerry Langley. “Nowadays, it seems like the Constitution is under constant attack. We have these executive orders by the president going after our Second Amendment rights when they should really be going through Congress. It’s unlawful in my opinion. I think it’s time for all people and all counties to raise up and adopt resolutions similar to this.”
Deatherage further expounded on his support for the resolution and the Second Amendment.
“It’s about protecting our families. It’s about protecting our homeland. It’s about protecting the Constitution itself from tyrants and enemies, domestic and foreign,” he said.
“Amen,” replied someone in the standing room-only audience.
Deatherage contended the resolution passed with a 7-0 vote. He said that because the three Democrats on the board — Langley, Ed Booth and Robert Belcher — were absent — and had not been excused from the meeting — and did not vote, they would be recorded as voting for the resolution.
County Attorney Billy Mayo disagreed, saying the board’s bylaws and procedural rules call for a commissioner who attends a meeting but does note vote on a matter to be recorded as voting in the affirmative for a motion. That does not apply to commissioners who do not attend a meeting, he said.
“Those members who are not present or absent, their votes will not be affirmative. Only the four members present, if one fails to vote, this is according to your bylaws, your procedures,” Mayor said. “If any member present fails to vote, it will be affirmative, but an absent member who is not present will not be (counted in the affirmative).”
The board told the County Manager Randell Woodruff to have Mayo research the matter.

Resolution details

The resolution approved by the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners on Friday seeks or does the following:
• Have the N.C. General Assembly pass an act to nullify implementation of any federal law, executive order or regulations restricting the right to bear arms;
• Petitions the General Assembly to take action to have a constitutional convention called upon concurrence by two-thirds of the state legislatures for the specific purpose of amending the U.S. Constitution to strengthen the Second and Tenth amendments as applicable against federal infringement on the right to keep and bear arms and to keep the federal government from infringing on states’ rights to guarantee the protection of the right to keep and bear arms;
• Seeks an amendment to the state’s constitution (with voter approval) to guarantee the right of law-abiding residents to carry unimpeded a concealed weapon in any place that a duly sworn law-enforcement officer may carry a weapon and that any law passed by the General Assembly or imposed by any executive official restricting the right to keep and bear arms be subject to the strictest judicial review if challenged as infringing on the right to keep and bear arms;
• Directs the county manager to see that no county paid staff member participate in or allows any country resources to be used in the implementation of any federal law, executive order or executive directive that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.

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