BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Some residents in Bedford County are petitioning for county officials to pass a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” ordinance.
The move comes after news that Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam is temporarily banning people from carrying guns and other weapons on Capitol property in Richmond, just before a pro-gun rally next week.
The 2nd Amendment Sanctuary ordinance would prevent that from happening in the county. The problem is, Pennsylvania State Law prevents this type of ordinance from being passed.
According to Pennsylvania State Law under Title 18, Section 6100, it is illegal for any local government to create any laws related to gun rights, and if a county would do that, they could be sued or fined by the state government.
“We cannot pass an ordinance that would violate laws that are enacted by the state legislature,” Bedford County Commissioner, Josh Lang said.
Although he can’t make an ordinance, Commissioner Lang says he thinks a resolution is possible, which lets legislators in Harrisburg know where the county stands on the issue.
“I believe advocacy is a very powerful form of getting things to happen and making your voices heard,” Lang said.
Bedford County Sheriff, Wayne Emerick, says the state’s gun laws are restrictive enough.
“I’m worried about the criminals that are going to get the weapons regardless and break the law,” Emerick said. “Those are the ones that law enforcement are worried about.”
Both Emerick and Lang say they are strong supporters of the 2nd Amendment and hope the county’s plan of action will protect 2nd Amendment rights of the responsible gun owners.
The County Commissioners, District Attorney, and Sheriff’s Office are planning to discuss these possibilities further in the near future before making a final decision.