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Catoosa gun activists push sanctuary county, say ‘proclamation’ wishy-washy

Second amendment activists insist Catoosa County do more than issue a watery “pro-constitution” resolution, demand it become a sanctuary county protecting the right to bear arms. (Photo Abigail Cochran)

The Catoosa County Commission read a Constitutional Awareness Proclamation on Tuesday affirming its members’ support and recognition of the constitution. 

By Abigail Cochran / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM 

The proclamation states:

“WHEREAS, the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners, and each of its individual members, further desire to reiterate and re-state the solemn pledges taken in their respective oaths of office and to reiterate their unwavering support for the rights and protections afforded to the citizens of Catoosa County under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Georgia, including but not limited to those guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment; and

“WHEREAS, the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners, and each of its individual members, desire to express their opposition to any proposed law, statute, regulation, or proposed amendment to any of the foregoing, which is designed or proposed to unlawfully restrict, erode, minimize or otherwise infringe upon the rights and protections guaranteed to citizens of Catoosa County under the Constitution of the United States and/or the Constitution of the State of Georgia.” 

It declares the week of May 25 constitutional awareness and celebration week. 

In the therefores, the proclamation says the body does “recognize the importance of the rights, protections and freedoms granted and afforded to citizens of Catoosa County under the United States Constitution and the State of Georgia Constitution” and that it does “reiterate the support *** of the rights and protections *** including but not limited to those guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment” and that that the board opposes “the passage of any law, statute or regulation designed to unlawfully restrict, erode, minimize or otherwise infringe upon the Constitutional rights and protections guaranteed to citizens of Catoosa County.”

The proclamation follows on the heels of the efforts of countless gun activists in the county that have been lobbying and petitioning for Catoosa to become a sanctuary county for the second amendment. Many Catoosa citizens and gun-activists support the proclamation but feel it does not go far enough to protect the right to bear arms. 

Dana Wilson grumps at the vote, calling Catoosa members cowards.

Dana Wilson — deeply unhappy at half-measures.

Some suggest it is merely a pro-gun gesture designed to save face and appease the gun activists instead of becoming a sanctuary county for the second amendment as other North GA counties have done. 

Some described it as being so watered down that it is “like having one part paint to a thousand parts paint thinner.” 

This feeling was abruptly made public when, shortly after the proclamation was read, the hushed room was disturbed by two gentlemen sitting in the back who pulled out large, previously hidden signs that read, in bold letters: “Make Catoosa a sanctuary now!” and “Chairman Henry, We want a 2nd amendment sanctuary now!”

Joanna Hildreth says the Catoosa resolution isn’t enough to protect the people’s rights.

They walked across the room protesting the proclamation, declaring their disapproval of the symbolic pro-gun gesture. One of those gentlemen was Eric Morrison, who had this to say about their protest: 

The protesters were quietly escorted out of the building and the commissioners returned to its business. 

One of the main arguments made by those opposed to the creation of a sanctuary county was that it would be inconsistent to highlight just one constitutional right, and it is problematic to elevate one constitutional right above the others. At the conclusion of the meeting we interviewed Commissioner Charlie Stevens who said this:

Catoosa commissioner Charlie Stevens says he supports all constitutional amendments.

Angry at hobbled rights

In January, Ray Blakenship attended a rally in Virginia, protesting controversial gun control measures in that state and was inspired to take action in Catoosa County. He, along with other concerned Georgians, began an effort to use the doctrine of the lesser magistrate to oppose any future tyrannical attempts in GA. 

He is organizing activists to petition the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners to create a sanctuary county. When he made his public statement at the meeting, he stated as the leader of the group, which claims more than 2,200 members, his desire to take his cause to the state level because county officials all claim their hands are tied by the state. 

Mr. Blankenship took the opportunity to express how disturbing it was to witness the inability of law abiding citizens to obtain gun permits when government offices suddenly shut down. 

“With the Covid-19 shutdown people who purchase guns are unable to get their gun permits” and therefore he concluded would be in violation of the law to carry their firearm for their own protection.

He sees gun permits as an unnecessary, unwarranted violation of the Constitution and is working toward his long term goal to see Georgia ultimately adopt constitutional carry.

The David Tulis show is 1 p.m. weekdays, live and lococentric.

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