Officials asked to consider gun rights stance


Dubois County officials are looking into officially making a statement concerning gun rights.

Local business owner Eric Jochim talked to the Dubois County Commissioners Monday about passing a resolution making the county a 2A sanctuary county.

“A 2A sanctuary county is a county that adopts laws and resolutions that oppose, prohibit or impede the enforcement of certain gun control measures,” he said. “Proponents of such sanctuary laws or resolutions contend that various gun laws are a violation of the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment.”

Such a resolution does not mean the county would disregard any gun control laws that are in effect or are passed.

“State law supersedes us, and federal law supersedes us,” Commissioner Chad Blessinger said. “But it sends a message to lawmakers at other levels of government on where this county stands.”

The commissioners have never been officially approached about the idea of the county becoming a 2A sanctuary county before Monday’s meeting. There have been mentions about the idea in broad terms, but no action was ever taken.

Jochim gave the commissioners information about counties in Indiana and nearby states that have passed similar legislation and listed some gun legislation that is currently being considered by U.S. Congress. He said 34% of county residents are gun owners, though he believes the actual percentage is higher.

Commissioner Nick Hostetter favors having some kind of statement on record. “I support this, and I would like to see Dubois County do this,” he said. “I think the message that it sends is a good message. And we should send this message, that we will not go against the U.S. Constitution.”

Commissioner Elmer Brames did not seem as keen on the idea, but was open to looking into it for consideration. “I don’t see where it does a whole lot other than making a statement,” he said. “I don’t think it would have any legal effect. We would not ask our law enforcement to ignore laws.”

Blessinger said he’s not for or against the idea, but doesn’t feel like it will do anything in the practical sense. But he is interested in looking into the idea.

“I don’t think this does much, other than make a statement. If we were to move on something like this, it says we support gun owners, we support gun rights, we support the Second Amendment,” Blessinger said. “That’s as far as it would really go.”

The commissioners said they would consider the idea. Hostetter told Jochim that he would work with him on drafting a proposed resolution.

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