Sheriff appeals for 2A sanctuary


Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter has expressed his support for Dubois County to be a 2A sanctuary county.

“I support the Second Amendment. I support this resolution,” he told the Dubois County Commissioners Monday. “If my name was on there to sign it, I would be honored to sign that resolution, saying that as the sheriff, I support the Second Amendment.”

Kleinhelter and residents Eric Jochim and Timothy Keusch talked to the commissioners about reconsidering their decision to not pass a resolution for the county to be a 2A sanctuary county.

The commissioners last talked about the resolution at their April 5 meeting. At that meeting, Commissioner Nick Hostetter made a motion to approve the resolution; but no one seconded the motion, so it died. Commissioner Elmer Brames made a motion to postpone any further discussion on this resolution indefinitely, but that also died due to the lack of a second.

Kleinhelter asked the commissioners on Monday to reconsider.

He agreed that as a law enforcement official, he has taken an oath to uphold the law. But the resolution is not stating that the law won’t be upheld.

“If you look at just what the resolution says, it just states that we believe in our Second Amendment.,” Kleinhelter said. “We're sending a message to the state that says Dubois county believes in the Second Amendment. And it just reaffirms that.”

Both Jochim, who asked the commissioners in March to consider the resolution, and Keusch feel that message needs to be sent to state and federal officials. They cited federal actions and executive orders that are being passed or considered. They talked about other mass shootings by people who were mentally unstable and that more people are getting guns to protect themselves.

“I don’t know what you need to see from us to see that we are not the minority,” Jochim said.

They understand that passing the resolution is symbolic and has no legal force, Keusch said. “But I feel that's precisely the point,” he said. “That adds us to many counties and many states that has the sanctuary. So at least in the minimum, it might get somebody in Washington DC, to look at what the American people think, because I think a lot of them don't really care what any of the citizens think.”

Hostetter worked with Jochim to write a resolution before, and said that he still supports the resolution. “I think this message needs to be sent to the state and federal government,” he said, “that we believe in our Second Amendment rights.”

Brames said he still does not support the resolution. “I am still opposed to labeling Dubois County in a way that divides us,” he said. “I think everybody has a right to their opinion and I respect those rights. So I don't want to put a label on Dubois County.”

Commissioner Chad Blessinger didn’t feel that action needed to be taken. But he wanted time to review additional information Hostetter provided the commissioners, which included a document another county passed called, “Ordinance regarding the protection of rights under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Indiana.” He said that it alluded to one of his questions at a previous meeting.

“When someone brought up the idea of being a Second Amendment County, one of my comments was, do we need to have an ordinance for a First Amendment county, or Third Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, you know,” Blessinger said. “Where does it stop? Because we support all these amendments.”

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