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Uintah County becomes first Second Amendment ‘sanctuary county’ in Utah

Uintah County becomes first Second Amendment ‘sanctuary county’ in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY — So, Uintah guns? Because Uintah County is.

The county became the first Second Amendment sanctuary county in Utah on Wednesday after the Uintah County Commission unanimously passed the ordinance.

“Therefore, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental individual right that shall not be infringed,” the ordinance reads.

The protections listed in the ordinance do not apply to convicted felons and those legally prohibited from owning firearms, the document clarified.

The ordinance is in response to Virginia’s Second Amendment battle the state is having with its counties, after multiple counties declared themselves gun sanctuary counties in response to the state legislature's passage of a gun control measure.

While Utah isn’t currently battling over Second Amendment issues, at the public meeting on Wednesday, all three county commissioners said they wanted Uintah County to be proactive and lead the rest of the state in this issue.

Utah's legislative session began on Monday.

Uintah County's ordinance states any “unlawful act” that violates a law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms will be void in the county, including any taxes or fees on firearms or ammunition that is “not common to all other goods and services.”

Additionally, the ordinance restricts any registration or tracking of firearms past those required with the point of sale. Anything prohibiting the ownership or use of a firearm to those eligible is also considered an unlawful act, according to the ordinance.

I actually am a little sad that we have to do this but I think it's necessary.

–Bill Stringer, Uintah County commissioner

“I actually am a little sad that we have to do this but I think it’s necessary,” Commissioner Bill Stringer said at the meeting.

Uintah County Sheriff Steve Labrum spoke in favor of the ordinance on Wednesday.

“We’re taking a stance as the people that one of our original rights is going to be protected,” he said. “So it’s a stance to our federal government, our state legislatures from the left that don’t agree with this. I applaud these gentleman for passing this today.”

Unlike a resolution, the ordinance carries legal weight. Anyone in violation can be charged with a misdemeanor under county code, according to county officials.

Officials noted it would be 15 days from Wednesday until the ordinance goes into effect.

Ultimately, county officials said they wanted to stand up for citizens' rights listed in the U.S. Constitution.

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Lauren Bennett is a reporter with who covers Utah’s religious community and the growing tech sector in the Beehive State.


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