MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt and Prosecutor Matt Wiese released a joint statement to announce their positions regarding the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County status earlier this afternoon. The statement followed a meeting between Zyburt, Wiese, and a representative of the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County group to discuss the issue and listen to concerns.
The group is asking the Sheriff and Prosecutor to publicly pledge that they would not enforce any law which they believe would be an unconstitutional law regarding firearms. While they both support the 2nd Amendment and have taken oaths to support the Constitutions of both the United States and Michigan, they both stated that they cannot make the pledge but it is a subject they do not take lightly.
“The Prosecutor, Matt, and I met and we’re not taking this lightly,” said Zyburt. “It’s very serious and we discussed it at length, and this is the outcome. We totally support the Second Amendment, the First Amendment, the Third Amendment, and we’re going to do what our oaths are.”
In the meeting, Zyburt and Wiese explained what would happen if a law was put in place that was questionably unconstitutional, and how they would go about enforcing it.
“If a law is passed, and firearms rights groups believe that law is unconstitutional, it would be immediately challenged and would likely be stayed until the courts come up with a conclusion,” Wiese said. “We also try to stress to them that if the law is not clear, we would try to take a position to try to tell the citizens that they need to be careful until the law is clarified.”
They both also said they would be willing to meet with the group to discuss the issue and firearm rights that are granted by the 2nd Amendment and the concerns they have.
Read the full joint statement released by Wiese and Zyburt below:
Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese and Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt jointly announce their position on the Marquette County Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution. Both Mr. Wiese and Sheriff Zyburt have taken oaths to support the United States and Michigan Constitutions, and to fairly enforce the laws of the State of Michigan.
A group of interested citizens has requested that Marquette County formally become a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. This group has also asked Mr. Wiese and Sheriff Zyburt to publicly declare “in the exercise of their sound discretion, to not [sic] enforce against any citizen an unconstitutional firearms law.”
According to Mr. Wiese, “if a new law is passed in Michigan it is presumed to be valid unless it is overturned by the courts as being unconstitutional. If challenged, the implementation of the law would likely be stayed by the courts until a final ruling is made. It is legally not appropriate for a prosecutor to give a declaratory decision on unknown future scenarios. As the prosecuting attorney I make decisions on whether or not the facts of a case, as established by a law enforcement investigation, support the authorization of criminal charges.”
“What this means is that we can’t make a promise or pledge that is not enforceable. However, we both support all of the firearms rights that the citizens of Marquette County are guaranteed by the Second Amendment,” said Sheriff Zyburt.
“Both the Sheriff and I personally own firearms-we are both hunters and sportsmen and we support the responsible ownership and use of guns, including for self-defense. What we cannot do is take a pledge that we will try and interpret future laws that may be perceived by some as an unconstitutional infringement upon our Second Amendment rights,” said Mr. Wiese.
“As police and prosecutors we use our common sense discretion every day when deciding what needs to be investigated or charged as a violation of criminal law,” said Sheriff Zyburt.
Both Sheriff Zyburt and Mr. Wiese met with a representative of the Second Amendment Sanctuary County group and have agreed to listen to their concerns while having pledged to support the constitution and uphold the laws of the State of Michigan as is required by their oaths of office. They have both also agreed to meet publicly with the Second Amendment Sanctuary group to discuss the firearms rights that are guaranteed to citizens by the Second Amendment.