An issue of growing concern is on the agenda for the county commission meeting Feb. 19 at the courthouse in Pioche.
It will address the question of preparing a Lincoln County resolution pertaining to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The issue is whether or not the county might join with many other counties around the nation in becoming so-called ?Second Amendment Constitutional Protection Counties.? A large number of counties in other states have already taken that action.
If adopted, Lincoln County would join a statewide movement in Nevada contending that state and federal restrictive gun laws will infringe upon their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Among the laws they oppose: universal background checks, bans on assault-style weapons and laws that enable authorities to remove guns from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Lincoln County District Attorney Dylan Frehner said he prefers the term constitutional county, ?indicating we?re upholding the law.?
County commission chair Varlin Higbee said recently, ?We have an option here to be a full-fledged partner in the lawsuit, or take part by showing our support because we don?t have any money to put towards it.?
County sheriff Kerry Lee has already reported that most of the sheriffs in Nevada are not in favor of the red flag section. He encouraged the county to join with other Nevada counties in a lawsuit.
?Red flag? is the section of Nevada Assembly Bill 291 ?allowing law enforcement or concerned family members to get an order temporarily seizing firearms that belong to someone who poses a serious risk of personal injury to themselves or others.?
At the Feb. 3 meeting, the item was for discussion only and board members took no action, but may at the Feb. 19 meeting.
Lee admitted AB 291, which became state law Jan. 1, 2020, does have some good elements to it. ?Admittedly, there are obvious cases where such incidents do occur and action does need to be taken quickly.?
But in other cases, he and fellow sheriffs believe an investigation needs to be conducted to establish the validity of a claim, rather than acting on an affidavit based on someone?s say-so.
?Most of the sheriffs in the state are already doing anyway what this new law is trying to force us to do,? Lee said. ?We sheriffs do not like this law at all. We feel there needs to be due process in this, not just an affidavit asking to have it done. While there are some good aspects to the law, but not to act with just simply an affidavit that it may or may not be legitimate.?
A growing number of county commissions throughout the U.S. call it ?just another attack on the Second Amendment? echoing comments made recently by Kevin Berger, a county commission chair in North Carolina. ?Make no mistake, these rights are under attack from judges and certain political figures that have gained control at various levels of government. The very rights the forefathers guaranteed citizens are under attack by a certain group of people who believe that the government knows what?s better for the people than the people do.?
Higbee said he plans to attend the annual National Association of Counties Convention in Washington D.C. at the end of February with commissioners from all over the United States and said, ?I?m sure this issue will come up for discussion.?