STEPHENS COUNTY, Okla. (TNN) - Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney has declared Stephens County a Second Amendment Sanctuary, as he tries to ensure the citizens their firearms are protected.
As the state’s gun laws stand now, declaring the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary doesn’t change anything, but McKinney said if state or federal laws change, and they are told to seize weapons from law abiding citizens, this declaration means his department won’t take part in that.
McKinney said this decision isn’t because of any push back against his department, but he has been following a battle between Sheriffs in Virginia and their Governor.
By making the county a second amendment sanctuary, he said it creates a precedent for how they plan on handling things if state, or federal laws regarding weapons changes.
“The US Constitution is what we go by. If ever a federal law passed where all guns were confiscated, that is directly against the constitution, and this Sheriff is not going to participate in that,” said Sheriff Wayne Mckinney.
But making that declaration is something the Stephens County Democratic Party Chair doesn’t believe McKinney should have the power to do.
“They are paid to enforce the laws, we have people paid to make the laws, other people paid to interpret the laws. They aren’t the people making laws, and they shouldn’t be, they aren’t elected to be,” said Democratic Party Chair Gary Edmondson.
Edmondson said this decision serves as political gain, more than actual protection, because gun owners aren’t at risk of losing their 2nd amendment rights.
“There are no laws now about coming to get anyone guns. I’m a gun owner, they aren’t coming to get mine. They aren’t coming to get yours either,” said Edmondson.
A Duncan gun store owner said that even with no traction, gun restriction legislation is being presented at the capitol, and this move by McKinney shows he isn’t taking any chances on people losing their rights.
“Last year, constitutional carry passed, and again. Rep Lowe is working on a bill to repeal that. There’s always those people up there trying to take away our rights, as we are trying to add to them," said Keith Stewart, the owner of Firearms Solutions.
Before this becomes official, it will need to be voted on by the Stephens County Commissioners.
This decision by Sheriff McKinney comes just one day after the Sheriff of Logan County declared the same thing.
Rep. Jason Lowe, who is working to undo the permitless carry law called this decision in Logan County "a political stunt that has nothing to do with public safety, and everything to do with sheriff’s politics.”
We will update this story after the commissioners vote.