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Second amendment advocates push for referendums

CLAYSBURG — The Blair County Second Amendment Coalition and the Blair County Tea Party are pushing to get signatures to place Second Amendment sanctuary referendums on the November ballot.

The groups held a joint press conference Wednesday to raise awareness of their efforts toward making Blair County and its municipalities Second Amendment sanctuaries.

A Second Amendment sanctuary is a place that has adopted measures that oppose law enforcement agencies within that location from assisting in the enforcement of certain gun control measures, according to online sources.

“My understanding is that it simply just allows our law enforcement people not to participate in the enforcement of anything that would come through the state or federal government,” former state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr. said.

Two types of ballot petitions are being circulated before the submission deadline on Aug. 4. The first is a countywide petition that would put a referendum on Blair County’s November ballot. The other type would do the same for each of the county’s 24 municipalities.

For the referendum to make it onto the county ballot, the petition will need about 3,500 signatures from Blair County registered voters.

Proponents of the petition say the measure is necessary to protect those in Blair County from having their rights infringed upon by those in positions of power.

“Everything that started in Germany is happening now,” Blair County Tea Party President Rhonda Holland said. “From the censorship, to the media pushing a narrative, and you cannot question it, they’ll just say ‘it’s science; believe the science.’ Well there’s no such thing as settled science. Science by its definition changes as you get more information. If tomorrow we found something that changed gravity, science would change. That’s the way it works. But they don’t want that to happen.”

Eichelberger said, “We’re only one tragic event away from the Legislature having a knee-jerk reaction and passing something that deteriorates our rights to keep and bear arms. … That can happen. A school shooting, something dramatic that could happen, and there will be this immediate pressure on everybody in Harrisburg. … That knee jerk reaction is a very dangerous thing. That can happen. We’re only one state of emergency declaration away from a governor trying to do something to take our guns from us. That can happen, we’ve seen that over the last year. That abuse of authority, that can happen very quickly.”

Altoona Mirror Staff Writer Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.

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