What is a Second Amendment Sanctuary?

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 8:18 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - More and more communities are looking at becoming Second Amendment Sanctuaries, but what exactly does that mean?

“They just feel proud to be able to carry that flag,” said Robert Kilcollins, a Fort Fairfield town counselor. “I probably take it more for that than for the resolution. I don’t know but if this is all it took to give the American people hope...”

Second Amendment Sanctuaries in Maine started with the town of Paris in 2019, but the movement didn’t begin locally until Kilcollins brought the resolution to the table in Fort Fairfield in January. Van Buren followed shortly after, and Caribou after that, and even more towns have recently joined.

“Basically, what it is...if there is any government control, today tomorrow, fifty years from now, a hundred years from now, that looks at our constitutional right and doesn’t honor it to us American people, and wants to disarm the American people, the law protects fort Fairfield from any local or outside source to come to our community and disarm us,” said Kilcollins, and he emphasized that it has no impact on current or future gun laws.

Kilcollins says that the resolution is more about educating people on their constitutional rights than it is about gun laws.

“We still have to follow state guidelines, federal guidelines, laws,” said Kilcollins. “That doesn’t change who we are as a sanction in Fort Fairfield. If there [are] new gun laws obtained at state level or federal level, we have to follow.”

Joan Theriault is on the Caribou city council that passed the resolution in a four to three vote. She agrees with Kilcollins that the resolution has no impact on gun rights or laws.

“It’s symbolic,” she explained. “We’re already protected by the 2nd amendment. We have gun rights now.”

She voted against the resolution, mainly because she felt the council didn’t have the right to make the decision.

“We’re 7 people, we have over 7000 in the city,” said Theriault. “I don’t think that should’ve been our decision, something like that. It would’ve been easy enough to get that on the referendum in June. If people would have come out and voted yes they wanted this, I would have gladly signed the resolution. But it’s not for us to decide for the community. I don’t think that was right.”

The Sanctuaries are also gaining momentum in other parts of the State. Columbia Falls passed the resolution by voice vote at their annual town meeting, incorporating residents into the decision-making process.

Being a second amendment sanctuary doesn’t change your rights and it doesn’t change any laws, but for some, it’s a reinforcement of a constitutional right that has been there all along.

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