MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to reaffirm their oaths of office to uphold the constitution Tuesday night, but they chose not to become a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County. Several members of the community were in attendance to support a vote for sanctuary status, as well as speak up about concerns in relation to statewide gun laws that have been discussed in Lansing, such as red flag laws.
There have been multiple counties around the Upper Peninsula that have heard proposals to become 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties, and Marquette County is the latest.
The board was originally presented a proposal to become a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary City at a previous meeting, but decided to vote on their own proposal supporting the Constitution and all of its amendments instead, which caused some confusion as whether the county voted for sanctuary status or not.
“It’s not a sanctuary county,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Gerry Corkin. “We don’t have the authority to tell the Prosecutor or the Sheriff how to do their jobs in enforcing the law. And that was as the advice of the attorney, so we simply reaffirmed our right to support the constitution of the state of Michigan and the USA.”
“What the county decided to is pass a resolution saying that we support the constitution and all of its amendments, which includes the 2nd Amendment,” said County Commissioner Bill Nordeen. “So we’re strong supporters, this board is, of the 2nd Amendment and of the Constitution, and certainly don’t want to have that impeached in anyway.”
The movement in Michigan has been sparked in part due to the changes that have been made in states like Virginia, which also saw a major gun rights rally earlier this week. Advocates for the proposed sanctuary status say that the goal of making Marquette County a sanctuary county is simple.
“Peace of mind,” said John Kovarik, the Marquette Chair of Michigan for 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties. “And so the people here who own guns feel safe and know that their elected officials are going to back them and support the 2nd Amendment, and not let outlandish laws take effect over them. And also to know who we should and shouldn’t vote for.”
The Board of Commissioner’s proposal noted that they’ve been requested to adopt the sanctuary status resolution, but that would exceed their authority. Neither County Prosecutor Matthew Wiese nor County Sheriff Greg Zyburt were available after the meeting for comment on the proposals.