Arizona’s most populous county on Wednesday joined a growing movement in which areas are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and protecting their rights to keep and bear arms, according to ABC News.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Phoenix voted 4-1 to adopt a resolution that declares one of the nation’s fastest-growing counties a “Second Amendment Preservation County.” The move follows recent trends across the southern and western United States for municipalities to reaffirm their support for gun rights and stave off gun-control policies that could be seen as unconstitutional. Arizona’s Apache, La Paz, Yavapai, and Mohave counties have all adopted similar symbolic resolutions.
The resolution in Maricopa County, which has about 4.4 million residents and introduced by Chairman Clint Hickman essentially shows Maricopa County’s support for constitutional Second Amendment rights, the right to own guns.
Supervisor Steve Gallardo, a Democrat who cast the only “no” vote, denounced the politically charged resolution. “Let’s think about this. A resolution should not be divisive,” he said. “It should not be partisan.”
Gallardo also argued the resolution was outside the purview of what the board should be doing.
Chairman Hickman countered that multiple constituents had expressed support for the sanctuary designation that was first used in 2018 in Illinois and quickly spread to California, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia and other states.
“I’ve had very many different constituents in my district asking me questions about this issue,” he said. “If people know one thing about me, I come from the rural areas of Maricopa County. I like to listen in on what is going on.”
“Sanctuary city” is a term more often associated with cities trying to restrict cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. Some Second Amendment sanctuary supporters say their decision to use the term was a deliberate knock on Democrats who support immigrant sanctuary cities, Associated Press reports.
In Arizona, gun owners are already free to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. They can also bypass background checks if they buy their firearms at a gun show. However, federal background checks are required for other purchases.