County’s Stand On Gun Ownership

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MONTROSE -- Susquehanna County commissioners say their new resolution on gun rights is getting overwhelming support from the community.

They passed a resolution last month that would fight any state or federal laws that challenge people's Second Amendment rights.

The resolution states any federal act, bill, or law that tries to take away the right to bear arms will be "unenforceable" in Susquehanna County.

Dave Thomas from Endicott, New York, just over the Susquehanna County line, has owned guns since he was 5 years old, and is now an avid target shooter.

Thomas was in Pennsylvania at the Montrose Sporting Goods Shop to trade in his assault rifle because after tighter gun laws were passed in New York State, he now has no use for it. He calls New York laws unconstitutional.

"You can't stop insanity. There's millions and millions of people, some are nuts," said Thomas. "If you look at history, anytime guns have been taken away from the people, it goes down to a terrible end, all over the world."

He and many others have spoken out about the tighter gun laws in New York State that would restrict folks from carrying more than seven bullets, and certain assault rifles.

And many who live in Susquehanna County were afraid those New York laws would make their way over the state line. Laws, many there say, would not deter criminals whatsoever.

"Criminals are already criminals; they're not following the laws now. Adding extra laws, they're not going to change anything in the way a criminal gets a gun," said Larry Coy of Montrose Sporting Goods.

A newly-approved resolution passed unanimously by Susquehanna County commissioners has gotten overwhelming support.

It reads:

"Any federal act, bill, law, rule or executive order that in any way infringes on our Second Amendment rights by attempting to reduce the private ownership of any firearm, magazine, or ammunition shall be unenforceable in Susquehanna County."

While commissioners say they know they don't have much authority when it comes to state and federal lawmakers, they say they did it to take a stance, send a message.

"I think it's good for the county commissioners to stand up for the Second Amendment and I would hope they'd stand up for all the amendments, the Constitution is what this country was founded and lives by," Coy added.

Commissioners say they understand they hold no authority over federal lawmakers, but this resolution was approved to send a message: that Susquehanna county promises to fight tighter gun laws, and be a part of the process every step of the way.