BUFFALO, MN – On a unanimous vote, the Wright County Board approved a resolution declaring the county a “Second Amendment dedicated county” Tuesday, making it the sixth Minnesota county to approve such a resolution.
There are two primary components to the resolution, in which the board “expresses its intent to oppose any unconstitutional infringement on the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.”
As part of its opposition, the county will “use such legal means at its disposal to protect the rights of the citizens of Wright County to keep and bear arms.”
Furthermore, the board “will refuse to directly appropriate any Wright County resources to enforce any mandate, law, policy, or any directive which unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.”
The action followed receipt of a letter and sample resolution from five Republican state legislators who represent Wright County: senators Bruce Anderson and Mary Kiffmeyer; and representatives Eric Lucero, Marion O’Neill, and Joe McDonald.
A standing-room-only crowd of about 70 people attended the meeting, with many of them sporting “Guns Save Lives” stickers, and only one voicing opposition.
Sheriff Sean Deringer joined the majority in support of the resolution.
“I believe it is the Second Amendment that allows us to enjoy the other God-given freedoms in this great country,” Deringer said. “I will stand with you today and, as long as the good people of Wright County continue to elect me in, I will stand with you.”
Deringer said some people have taken to social media to speak for him on the issue. He encouraged anyone wondering where he stands on issues to call or email him, and he would be willing to speak with them.
He called the board room full of gun rights supporters “by far the safest room in Wright County” and said he takes pride in the fact that the county has more than 13,000 permit-to-carry holders.
Gloria Caballero, a retired deputy US Marshal told the board to “do what the citizens elected you to do.”
“After weeks of speaking with Wright County residents, it is clear that we the people of Wright County want the resolution passed,” Caballero said. “We also have the opportunity to be a leader. Other counties are watching this vote today. Let us use this opportunity to grow and to send a strong message to our lawmakers at St. Paul that senseless gun control laws that ultimately infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens will not be tolerated.”
On the other end of the spectrum, John Dietering cited a Fox News poll from August 2019 that showed 90 percent of Americans in favor of background checks, 81 percent in favor of red flag laws to take guns from at-risk people, and 67 percent in favor of banning assault weapons.
“What we’re in short supply of is common sense,” Dietering said.
Before the floor was opened for public comment, Commissioner Darek Vetsch moved to amend the resolution to add the paragraph regarding the use of county resources, and that motion was approved unanimously.
Following public comment, Vetsch read a prepared statement in which he called the pursuit of happiness a key foundation of the country.
“That foundation is protected by our Constitution and our Second Amendment rights are a key, invaluable part of maintaining that foundation,” Vetsch said. “The effort here today is just one step we need to make as a grass roots effort to make sure that we continue to be cognizant of our Constitutional rights and to protect them every day, not just the Second Amendment, but all of them.”
Chair Christine Husom, a licensed peace officer, said, “It’s very reassuring to me to know that law-abiding citizens are out there and can help protect because peace officers cannot be everywhere.”
She added that she has studied Constitutional law.
“I know a lot of reasons why these rights were given to us, why we have the Bill of Rights,” Husom said. “It’s important that we stand up for them.”
Commissioner Charlie Borrell agreed with that sentiment, citing other countries where guns have been banned.
Commissioner Mike Potter suggested such an approach does not work, quoting Gene Wilder as saying “Do criminals obey the law?” with an inference that they do not.
“They’re not going to listen to it anyway,” Potter said. “How is a red flag law going to do anything? They’re going to violate it anyway. We need to make sure law-abiding citizens can protect themselves.”
Commissioner Mark Daleiden said he has a responsibility to protect his property, his business, and his employees.
“I stand firm that we all have our rights,” Daleiden said.