In an unexpected move Tuesday morning, Bulloch County Commissioners voted to approve the county as a “2A Sanctuary” county. This only means that commissioners support the Second Amendment and will not try to take away constitutional gun rights at any point in the future, but some misunderstood the move.
Bulloch County Probate Judge Lorna Deloach said some residents, following the commission vote Tuesday, came to her office expecting to get concealed carry permits without a background check or fingerprinting. That isn’t the case, she said. The law remains that in order to acquire a concealed carry permit, one must submit to a criminal history check, fingerprinting and ay a $77 fee.
Bulloch County Commission Chairman Roy Thompson said the resolution voted upon Tuesday morning was clear in that all it meant is “commissioners support the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms.”
He brought up the issue as new business, hoping to prompt a discussion, as the resolution was to have been read and voted upon during the upcoming March 3 meeting. However, after comments about a heavy agenda on that day, Commissioner Jappy Stringer moved to go ahead and vote on the issue Tuesday. The vote was unanimous.
Bulloch County’s staff attorney Jeff Akins had already gone over the resolution, modified from one used in Floyd County, Thompson said. In voting on the resolution, “all commissioners did was agree to support the Second Amendment” and vow to not support, financially or otherwise, any possible future move by the state to modify, change or take away gun rights, he said.
Deloach said at least two people last week, anticipating the commission’s planned move March 3 to adopt the resolution, contacted her office and expressed a belief that the vote would mean doing away with background checks and fingerprinting.
“They don’t understand what the resolution means,” she told the Statesboro Herald Tuesday. “They still have to have background checks and be fingerprinted for a concealed carry permit.”
Some who went to the probate court office Tuesday after the commission meeting were upset when they learned the laws had not changed. They wanted to get a permit Tuesday without the proper procedure, thinking for some reason the commission vote changed the state law. It didn’t, she said.
“They should know we (local government) can’t change the (state and federal) laws,” Thompson said.
On a personal level, he echoed other commissioners’ support of the right to bear arms.
”If a person tries to break into my house with a pistol, I don’t want to defend my family with a broomstick,” he told the Statesboro Herald.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.