KEARNEY — The room filled with applause Tuesday after the Buffalo County Board of Commissioners voted 6-0 to approve a resolution supporting gun rights and the Second Amendment.
“It’s important that the county board pass the resolution,” said Stacy Brown of Gibbon, a gun owner, military veteran and one of the 20 or so Second Amendment backers attending the Board of Commissioners meeting.
Jim Myrick of Gibbon, another veteran, said he supports the Second Amendment and the rights it guarantees. However, he said gun owners will continue to face the threat of losing their guns as long as gun-related violence continues.
“If we don’t teach our children respect for human life, we will continue to have this problem,” Myrick said about the potential loss of Second Amendment protections.
Buffalo County’s resolution and the resolutions of other county boards in Nebraska come as President Joe Biden has enacted several executive orders in reaction to a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in which 10 people were killed, and in Atlanta, Georgia, where eight people were killed.
Among Biden’s initial response to those incidents was ordering the federal Justice Department to draft “red flag” legislation so family members and law enforcement could seek court orders temporarily barring people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others.
Biden also wants rules to stop “ghost guns,” which people purchase kits to assemble the parts into functional weapons without serial numbers so law enforcement can’t trace them. In addition, Biden wants to do something about braces that can be added to pistols to turn them into short-barreled rifles.
Biden also has threatened to call on Congress to enact other legislation to curb gun violence.
According to the April 7 statement by the White House, Biden is considering legislation to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.
It’s estimated that 30 Nebraska counties — Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties — have symbolically approved resolutions similar to Buffalo County’s.
Myrick, the veteran from Gibbon, said he would re-enlist in a moment to fight for gun rights, which are enshrined in the Second Amendment.
“I love where this country came from,” Myrick said. He said a gun never killed anyone unless someone used the gun to do so.
The county board required just a few minutes to pass its pro-Second Amendment resolution. Commissioner Tim Higgins of Kearney read the resolution, and then the board approved it 6-0, with no discussion. Chairman Bill McMullen was absent because of illness and did not vote on the resolution.
The document states that the U.S. Constitution provides that “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The resolution also notes the Nebraska State Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms, specifically for security or defense “of self, family, home and others, and for lawful common defense, hunting, recreational use and all other lawful purposes.
According to the resolution, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the individual right to possess firearms, unconnected with service in a militia. The resolution concludes: “Now therefore be it resolved that the Buffalo County Board of Commissioners hereby declares that we support the rights and liberties of all Buffalo County citizens guaranteed by the United States and Nebraska constitutions.”