Local resistance to unconstitutional violations of the Second Amendment continues to grow with the Mt. Holly Springs, Pa. council passing a resolution declaring that its citizens have the right to own firearms “free of unreasonable restraint and regulation.”
Council members voted unanimously May 14 to pass a resolution affirming the rights of its citizens to keep and bear arms.
The Second Amendment Preservation Resolution was based upon the Tenth Amendment Center’s model legislation and was proposed by resident Chris Rietmann. As reported in an article the Cumberland Sentinel, Reitmann explained why he proposed the bill saying, “I believe that the Framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully and, for the most part, it has worked very well for us for the last 200-plus years. I don’t believe you can legislate natural rights.”
The resolution is non-binding, and the city council chose to set aside a proposed Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance that would have nullified any federal gun control laws within city limits. The council sent the ordinance its legislative council for review.
Rietmann said the goal of the ordinance was to forbid borough officials, including the police, from assisting the federal government in carrying out what he called “acts that deny local residents their Second Amendment rights.”
Opponents of the ordinance trotted out the same tired arguments. Brandon Lenoir, visiting professor of political science at Dickinson College, said in the same article, “The federal government establishes laws that are supreme across all states” and that resistance to any old law the federal government wants to impose on us is basically futile, whether it is constitutional or not.
Perhaps Professor Lenoir needs to be re-acquainted with the writings of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, or maybe he should re-learn what the words ‘in pursuance thereof’ means. Luckily this ignorant line of thinking isn’t having much of an effect on Pennsylvanians, as Mt. Holly Springs now joins East Coventry Township and Susquehanna County in affirming the gun rights of their citizens.
Mt. Holly Springs took a good first step in passing its resolution. Now the council needs to take the next step and refuse cooperation with any federal gun laws violating the Second Amendment. Despite the opinion of our political science professor, even the Supreme Court has agreed that the feds can’t require state and local officials to enforce federal acts. In Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not command state law enforcement authorities to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers. And in the 1992 case, New York v. United States, the Court found that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.
Local action fosters change from the bottom up. Local activism puts pressure on state lawmakers to consider a Second Amendment Protection Act. State and local refusal to assist the feds in the unconstitutional overreach can make federal gun laws nearly impossible to enforce.
If you live in the borough of Mt. Holly Springs, PA or are a resident of the state of Pennsylvania, we strongly encourage you to politely pressure the council members to pass the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance. According to the official Cumberland County website, their contact information via phone is 717.486.7613.
If you would like an ordinance passed in your town to protect your Second Amendment rights from federal infringement, please urge your councilmembers to introduce a version of our model legislation – the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. To track the progress of these bills in your city, state and the rest of the country, check out our Legislative Tracker.