A gun-sanctuary movement has been slowly moving across Arkansas, stirring a debate about whether it has any “teeth”.
Scott County passed a “Bill of Rights Ordinance in January saying that county employees could be fired or fined if they enforce gun restrictions that the county deems unconstitutional.
The Independence County Quorum Court passed a similar resolution in Batesville last week. Benton County in Northwest Arkansas will consider a similar ordinance and a resolution this week.
Don Cloud Davis of Mena, a spokesman for the Arkansas Liberty Coalition told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the coalition is a non-partisan organization that works to “educate people on the Constitution, their rights, and engagement.” Davis says the coalition hasn’t been pushing counties to enact ordinances similar to the one approved by Scott County. Davis added that a resolution has no teeth. But an ordinance is county law and has to be lawful.
Scott County employees who violate Ordinance 2020-2 are subject to being fired and fined up to $500.
The Arkansas effort is part of a national trend that began in western states. In the state of Virginia, more than 100 cities and counties have passed some sort of Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.
Mike Rainwater, attorney for the Association of Arkansas Counties Risk Management Fund, told the 75 county judges in a letter earlier this month that Arkansas quorum courts shouldn’t attempt to pass gun sanctuary ordinances that conflict with state and federal laws.