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Hearing set on gun sanctuary plan
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The Public Safety Committee of the Langlade County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing regarding the resolution to support Second Amendment rights on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Northcentral Technical College.

The matter was brought before the full board at the January meeting, but was tabled and sent to the committee for a public hearing on a narrow 11-10 vote.

As the hearing is being called to order, there will be an attendance sheet for members of the public to indicate whether they are in favor or opposed, if they choose to do so. The sign up sheet will also be used by the committee to determine how many people wish to speak, which in turn will determine how much time will be allocated to each person.

Before the committee begins the process of recognizing individuals to speak, Langlade County Corporation Counsel Robin Stowe will provide an explanation of the proposed resolution and the limited authority of the County Board. Copies of the resolution and materials regarding the board's authority will be available.

The revised resolution no longer features the language of declaring a “sanctuary” county. The current version simply states the intent is a “declaration of support for the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

The language is important because the authority of a County Board is at times misunderstood by some members of the public, as explained by Stowe.

“The problem with the term ‘sanctuary' is that it implies the establishment of an area that will be free from certain regulations, which is beyond the County Board's authority,” Stowe said. “The board has no authority to restrict the use of public funds by successive County Boards, and has no authority to direct the sheriff or other elected official to disregard state or federal laws.”

“Counties are effectively the arms and legs of the state of Wisconsin, meaning that they are the mechanism by which programs and services are delivered throughout the state,” Stowe continued. “We only have the legislative authority to do what the state says we can do. A county's legislative authority is derived from state statutes. A County Board has no ‘constitutional home rule authority.' The authority to determine that a state or federal law is unconstitutional is the role of the Wisconsin or United States Supreme Court.”

Despite a wide range of views on the resolution, Stowe said he thinks all 21 supervisors have a grasp on the situation and the broader implications.

“I believe that the board understands the heightened public interest and strong emotions that are involved with any debate over Second Amendment rights, but I believe that board members also understand their limited role and authority,” he concluded. “So the most that they could consider is a show of support for Second Amendment rights, noting that every board member has already taken an oath to support the Constitution.”

Following the public hearing, the committee will discuss the proposed resolution. Taking into account the information gathered, the committee could revise the resolution, table it for consideration at another time, or vote to bring the resolution back to the full board at the next meeting on Feb. 18.
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Hearing set on gun sanctuary plan
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The Public Safety Committee of the Langlade County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing regarding the resolution to support Second Amendment rights on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Northcentral Technical College.

The matter was brought before the full board at the January meeting, but was tabled and sent to the committee for a public hearing on a narrow 11-10 vote.

As the hearing is being called to order, there will be an attendance sheet for members of the public to indicate whether they are in favor or opposed, if they choose to do so. The sign up sheet will also be used by the committee to determine how many people wish to speak, which in turn will determine how much time will be allocated to each person.

Before the committee begins the process of recognizing individuals to speak, Langlade County Corporation Counsel Robin Stowe will provide an explanation of the proposed resolution and the limited authority of the County Board. Copies of the resolution and materials regarding the board's authority will be available.

The revised resolution no longer features the language of declaring a “sanctuary” county. The current version simply states the intent is a “declaration of support for the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

The language is important because the authority of a County Board is at times misunderstood by some members of the public, as explained by Stowe.

“The problem with the term ‘sanctuary' is that it implies the establishment of an area that will be free from certain regulations, which is beyond the County Board's authority,” Stowe said. “The board has no authority to restrict the use of public funds by successive County Boards, and has no authority to direct the sheriff or other elected official to disregard state or federal laws.”

“Counties are effectively the arms and legs of the state of Wisconsin, meaning that they are the mechanism by which programs and services are delivered throughout the state,” Stowe continued. “We only have the legislative authority to do what the state says we can do. A county's legislative authority is derived from state statutes. A County Board has no ‘constitutional home rule authority.' The authority to determine that a state or federal law is unconstitutional is the role of the Wisconsin or United States Supreme Court.”

Despite a wide range of views on the resolution, Stowe said he thinks all 21 supervisors have a grasp on the situation and the broader implications.

“I believe that the board understands the heightened public interest and strong emotions that are involved with any debate over Second Amendment rights, but I believe that board members also understand their limited role and authority,” he concluded. “So the most that they could consider is a show of support for Second Amendment rights, noting that every board member has already taken an oath to support the Constitution.”

Following the public hearing, the committee will discuss the proposed resolution. Taking into account the information gathered, the committee could revise the resolution, table it for consideration at another time, or vote to bring the resolution back to the full board at the next meeting on Feb. 18.
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