STEPHENSON — A resolution to declare Menominee County a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County” was discussed Tuesday at the county’s Board of Commissioners meeting. This resolution, if passed, would state that Menominee County does not support any legislation that would infringe on the people’s right to bear arms.

However, the commissioners disagreed on exactly why such an amendment should be passed and who has the authority to interpret laws as constitutional or unconstitutional.

County Administrator Jason Carviou said that politically, there has been a lot of “different ideas on gun control” on the national level, among various politicians and legislators.

“This would be purely a statement by the county board that would say it does not support any legislation that would limit your second amendment rights,” Carviou said. “It sort of directs the county sheriff and the prosecuting attorney – with their discretion – not to enforce any law that is passed if it’s not constitutional.”

Sheriff Kenny Marks spoke at the meeting on this subject. He did not take a stance for or against the resolution, but he declared himself a “Constitutional Sheriff” and said that protecting people’s Constitutional rights is a priority of his.

Several commissioners, on the otherhand, did take strong stances both in the resolution’s favor and against it.

Commissioner Steve Gromala said he would not support this resolution.

“How does this benefit Menominee County?” he asked. “Do we really want to state that we want to choose which laws we want to follow?”

Gromala said he is a “firm believer of the Second Amendment,” but the responsibility of interpreting the Constitution is the job of the Judicial Branch of Government, not the Legislative Branch, which the Menominee County Board is part of.

“This should be left to the courts to decide if future laws are unconstitutional. It appears, this resolution allows every county and their elected officials will decide how any future laws will apply to their respective counties, is that even Constitutional?”

Commissioner Jan Hafeman said the resolution states that Menominee County will keep its Second Amendment rights.

“By keeping our Second Amendment rights, we ensure our First Amendment rights – which are: The Freedom of Speech, Religion and all that – can stay, we can keep that. If you don’t have a way of ensuring that, you can’t ensure the First Amendment,” Hafeman said.

She added that this resolution does not say everyone should bear arms.

“But, you are stating that you will make the determination rather than the judicial system, which has the jurisdiction to interpret these laws,” Gromala said.

Commissioner Gerald Piche said he also did not support the resolution.

“It’s political. There’s one side that thinks that there should be no limitations at all. That anyone should be able to run through the woods with AK-47s… Interpretation is the word. ‘What did they think when they drew up the Constitution?’ There was no such thing as AK-47s that we have ... no, I think, personally, we do not need all those. I think this resolution doesn’t mean anything. It’s nice words but to me, it doesn’t say anything.”

Commissioner Larry Phelps said the resolution means a lot to him personally.

“When I listen to my own sheriff, that represents the law enforcement in this county, it’s quite evident that when he makes a statement that he is a ‘Constitutional sheriff,’ it’s not too hard to comprehend his opinion, his stance on this issue, or he wouldn’t have been here tonight. I personally believe our sheriff will support this, he’s not going to say it,” Phelps said.

Phelps said he is in favor of the resolution, because it shows support of the local law enforcement.

“In the grand scheme of things, yes it doesn’t hold any ground, but it does make a statement,” he said.

No vote was made on this subject Tuesday; it is expected to be on the agenda as an action item at the next meeting scheduled for Feb. 25.