GASTONIA, N.C. — Gaston County is poised to join a growing list of counties in the Charlotte region who have declared themselves as "Second Amendment Sanctuaries."
About six counties in the region have either planned to or have already passed resolutions, which promised to protect gun owners from what its leaders view as overly-restrictive firearms laws.
Gaston County Commissioner Chad Brown is one of the commissioners co-sponsoring the new resolution.
"It's been a battle," Commissioner Brown said. "You see what's happening right now in Virginia. I'm proud to be one of the counties in North Carolina that's standing up for our Second Amendment."
Experts said the resolutions are more symbolic than powerful as federal and state laws supersede local ordinances and resolutions.
Daniel Caudill of the Gaston County Democratic Party echoed that fact in his party's criticism of the commissioners' resolution
"As municipal ordinances do not supersede state or federal law, it is curious to us as to why this specific subject is something our elected officials feel the need to work on. There are many things our elected leaders at all levels can do to make this great county even greater," Caudill said in a statement. "As a gun owner, I find this resolution unnecessary and hope our Board of Commissioners will find more worthy opportunities moving forward."
After Lincoln County voted to become the first in the Charlotte region to declare itself a sanctuary, Sheriff Bill Beam said his deputies will still enforce all firearms laws currently on the books.
Christian Heyne of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said the growing trend of Second Amendment sanctuaries is alarming because of the leaders pushing it.
"The people who are talking about Second Amendment sanctuary cities are the very people who are supposed to be enforcing the laws that people on both sides of the aisle have fought really hard to get into place," Heyne said.
Commissioner Brown countered what he found alarming were restrictive gun laws that he felt go against the Second Amendment.
"It's the teeth of our foundation for what's going on," Brown said. "Not on my watch will I let the foundation crumble."
The resolution hasn't been published yet, and it's expected to be introduced at the commissioners' January 28 evening meeting.