CIRCLEVILLE — The Pickaway County Commissioners heard a proposal for legislation to support gun rights of citizens in Pickaway County in the face of proposed state and federal legislation.
Tyson Rathburn, creator of the Ohio Stands United Pickaway County group, presented alongside Gary Caldwell and Carl Fuller.
“We’re here as concerned citizens of Pickaway County and members of Ohio Stands United Pickaway County, a local group that’s bringing awareness about…new current legislation on control of fire arms at the state and federal level and we’re seeking to protect the rights of law abiding citizens by proposing a symbolic resolution at the county level to ensure our second amendment rights are protected.”
Rathburn presented the Commissioners with three pages of proposed legislation at the state and federal level he said were of concern, more than 1,100 signatures of Pickaway County residents that signed a document saying they support the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and sample ordinances passed in other counties around Ohio.
“We understand that this is a symbolic resolution and in no way is an active body of law,” Rathburn said. “We ask for your support as citizens at the county level of government to the state legislation by enacting a resolution expressing our concerns of local, state and federal legislation that infringes our constitutional rights.”
Fuller called gun control just that, control.
“It doesn’t stop the crime, it doesn’t stop crazies from being crazy, it doesn’t help the children, it penalizes the individual gun owner in our republic,” he added. “Every one of the things in these laws has a little thing if you don’t do it you’ll be penalized. Everyone I talk to on my side of the county is saying the same thing that they are afraid that the governor is going to come in shut down their rights and move in and then they’ll be a felon.”
The Commissioners each expressed their support of gun rights listed in the Second Amendment and told the men that they would review their proposal and information and respond to them this week with their plans after they do some due diligence.
Brian Stewart, Pickaway County Commissioner, asked Rathburn several questions about what the group’s mission is.
“We’re all huge Second Amendment supporters,” Stewart said of the Commissioners. “We’re all gun owners, I’ve had a [concealed carry weapon] since you could get one. When state law, until fairly recently, said you couldn’t carry anything in any public building and made it so the Board of Commissioners deems it so we put our money where our mouth is and allowed it in certain offices. I would say that not one of us has or would support one of [the proposed bills].”
Stewart said it’s not a question of support for them but a question of what they can and want to do in terms of a potential resolution.
Rathburn said the potential resolution has wide ranging declarations.
“Some resolutions go as far as saying the Commissioners will not support any county funds to go to the Sheriff to support laws that infringe on our Second Amendment rights,” he said. “Other resolutions leave that out and say they’re just going to support our Second Amendment rights.”
“I would like a resolution signed by all three Commissioners that you support the Second Amendment and we’re going to stand as a county to not have it be infringed upon,” Rathburn said.
Rathburn understands that if it comes down to it, the federal government will do what it will do on gun laws.
“Hopefully it meets some resistance,” he commented. “As far as saying the resolution is symbolic, it’s supposed to be a symbolic voice to the legislators that says 88 counties have stood together and we don’t support this.”
“It’s more a voice of the people,” Caldwell added.
Harold “Champ” Henson, Commissioner, said the Commissioners like to think things through and that is one reason why when they approach state legislation they’re listened to.
“This Board of Commissioners are on very good footing with the legislation and the powers that be because the thought we put into things,” Henson said. “We don’t bother them a lot and when we ask for something they know it’s important and they know that we think it through.”
Stewart said having the group present at the meeting was helpful for the Commissioners to understand what their mission and goals are.
“We always like to hear this all together and we appreciate you coming in,” Stewart said. “This helped me a great deal. There’s been such a wide variety of ideas and we wanted to make sure we understand what is most important to you and us. We obviously have to kick the tires on our side to make sure we’re doing the things we do. I, 100 percent, agree with the sentiment and let us do our due diligence.”
Stewart said the Commissioners would reach out to the group with some feedback later this week after they’ve had that chance work on it.
“This has been very productive and we’ve got a good understanding where you guys are at,” Stewart concluded.