Weber County Commission declares ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’

Commissioners also praise several commenters for sharing conspiracy theories about federal and local government at Tuesday public meeting.

(Rick Bowmer | AP file photo) A man carries his weapon during a Second Amendment gun rally at Utah state Capitol on Feb. 8, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Weber County on Tuesday passed a resolution declaring their jurisdiction a "Second Amendment Sanctuary."

In a resolution unanimously approved Tuesday, the Weber County Commission declared county funds would not be used to restrict citizens’ right to bear arms, creating a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”

The commission stated the resolution “is reasonably related to the safety, health, morals, and welfare of Weber County inhabitants” and noted “opposition to unconstitutional restrictions” of law-abiding citizens’ to keep firearms. Commission chair Jim Harvey said at the Tuesday meeting the county had been developing the resolution for nearly a year, in collaboration with the county sheriff and county attorney.

“We were very careful in its preparation,” Harvey said. “We know sanctuary counties have been done, not just a couple or few others in the state of Utah, but across the country in different places.”

Utah, Uintah and Wayne counties have also passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions.

Prior to their sanctuary resolution vote, the Weber commissioners fielded comments from nine county residents who shared conspiracy theories about the federal, state and county government as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

Some complained about a woman who was arrested by the county sheriff at a Natural Grocers for not wearing a face mask. One woman called the county jail a “torture facility” and called local schools “indoctrination facilities.” She also pointed to a gold-fringed flag hanging behind the commissioners and called it a “captive flag” signifying a “corporation,” calling for it to be abolished.

Another commenter complained about “WACOG,” likely referring to the Weber Area Council of Governments, calling it a “form of tyranny” and “fraud.”

Numerous others claimed the state and hospitals were using the coronavirus pandemic to profit on positive case rates and deaths.

Harvey thanked the commenters and said the commission takes remarks “much more seriously” when the speakers are calm and respectful.

Commissioner Gage Froerer praised the residents for sharing their “wisdom” and point of view. He added that he would like to see “this type of comments” at every commission meeting.

Froerer also acknowledged the commenters when he voted to approve the county’s Second Amendment sanctuary status.

“We’ve heard this morning some [of the] public describe the possible infringement upon personal rights. I think this gives us an opportunity for a county to be forward-thinking,” Froerer said. “When it comes to personal freedoms ... the county cannot take a backseat, we have to protect those individual rights.”