By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Kay County Commissioners recently approved a measure making the county a second amendment sanctuary county, pledging to protect the rights of citizens to safely keep and bear arms.
The declaration was presented to the commissioners by Kay County Sheriff Steve Kelley. The measure prevents any firearm restrictions at the state level from impacting firearms owners in the county.
“It’s a stance against any legislation that will violate the rights of law-abiding citizens for the second amendment,” he said “As the sheriff, I’m bound by the U.S. Constitution and state constitution, and I answer to the people.”
The declaration opposes all restrictions for citizens to keep and bear arms, except where lawful, such as for convicted felons. The declaration also stresses that no public funds shall be used to restrict those rights within the county, and any other agency to restrict the same constitutional rights.
Sheriff Kelley cites the measure as a step forward for the constitutional rights of Kay County residents to not only uphold the U.S. Constitution, but also the right to safely keep firearms, especially as rural law enforcement agencies may take time to arrive to the scene.
“Law abiding citizens have to right to protect themselves and with us being rural law enforcement, response time could be anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. I want to make sure that citizens have the ability to protect themselves,” he said.
Kelley believes the second amendment will be protected in Oklahoma, but referenced several bills that moved through the Oklahoma Legislature, one of which sought to limit the number of rounds available for firearms.
“I strongly believe the state of Oklahoma will never violate the rights of law abiding citizens. Second Amendment rights are what’s in the Constitution, and it’s one of our most sacred amendments, I think, and as Sheriff of Kay County, I will always defend the rights of our law abiding citizens,” he said.