FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ind. - As the highly charged debate over gun control rages in Washington, an Indiana county is taking a stand against federal gun laws.
Franklin County commissioners recently adopted what they call the Second Amendment Preservation Act, declaring that all federal laws on gun control violate the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.
"If you have a license for an assault gun, than yes, you should be able to own one," said Donald Grizzell, one of the county's 24,000 residents.
The act says all federal gun control measures should be considered null and void in Franklin County.
"This is just another piece of the puzzle that we do need to step up and hold our public officials accountable for their oath to the Constitution," said Scott McDonough, a Franklin County commissioner.
Sheriff of Franklin County, Ken Murphy, also weighed in on the debate.
"I'm going to uphold my oath of office, and I'm going to protect the citizens' rights based on the Constitution," Murphy said.
The sheriff said it's easy to pass laws when emotions are running high, and there has to be some common sense used. But, he also understands when it comes to federal gun control laws, there's a process.
"We have a Supreme Court, and inevitably the Supreme Court is going to make a decision whether that fits the Constitution or not, and that's what I'm going to base my opinion on," Murphy said.
County leaders do say in terms of gun rights, residents they've heard from have overwhelmingly expressed their support of the Second Amendment Preservation Act.
"Somebody who has charges with guns should not be able to have them -- like armed robbery, murder, things along that -- shouldn't be able to carry one," said resident Cassandra Hunt. "On the other hand, anybody who doesn't (have those charges), why not?"
Commissioners here in Brookville passed the act unanimously understanding it doesn't have very many teeth, but it was symbolic and important.
Indiana State Sen. Phil Boots, R-Crawfordsville, has introduced a bill also seeking power over federal gun control decisions.
It's been assigned to the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure.
The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution assures the Constitution and federal laws take precedence over state laws.
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