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Bedford rejects push for 2nd Amendment sanctuary

BEDFORD — Based on legal advice, Bedford County commissioners will not be adopting an ordinance declaring it a Second Amendment Sanctuary county.

“Our legal counsel has advised the commissioners that the Board of County Commissioners does not have the standing or legal authority to enact such an ordinance, nor would the board have any means of enforcing it if it were passed. The specific language of the ordinance endorsed by the Gun Owners of America also attempts to eliminate immunity protections that county employees normally enjoy in the performance of their duties. This is dangerous because it could subject our probation officers and deputy sheriffs to personal liability unnecessarily,” the county said in a release.

The county’s release states, “Commissioners have carefully reviewed the proposed ordinance and understand the concerns expressed by this organization and others about legislative initiatives across the country limiting Second Amendment rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The Bedford County commissioners are strongly committed to protecting our Second Amendment rights.”

The Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act specifically preempts local governments including counties from adopting their own local legislation having to do with firearms.

“The Board of Commission­ers will always firmly object to any new laws attempting to infringe the firearms freedoms of the Citizens of Bedford County,” the release said. “We therefore will not take action on the SASO. At our regularly scheduled meeting on (Tuesday), however, we plan to act on a resolution supporting our Second Amend­ment rights and urging our federal and state government elected officials to uphold those rights as guaranteed in both the state and federal constitutions.”

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