Approved resolution declares Macomb County a ‘constitutional sanctuary county’

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published July 14, 2021

 Last month, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that, in part, indicates the county is a constitutional sanctuary county.

Last month, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that, in part, indicates the county is a constitutional sanctuary county.

File photo by Deb Jacques

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MACOMB COUNTY — More than 20 people came ready to voice their opinion on a proposed resolution.

A resolution was brought up in support of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution at the June 24 Macomb County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The resolution was introduced by Commissioner Don VanSyckel, who represents the northern portion of Sterling Heights.

The board voted 8-5 to approve the resolution. Commissioners Michelle Nard, Joseph Romano, VanSyckel, Jeff Farrington, Don Brown, Phil Kraft, Barb Zinner and Joe Sabatini voted in favor of the resolution, while commissioners Veronica Klinefelt, Harold Haugh, Antoinette Wallace, Julie Matuzak and Mai Xiong voted against it.

The resolution states that the Second Amendment to the Constitution includes that a “well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It adds that it is the board’s desire to reaffirm its commitment and support of the Constitution including all amendments that protect Macomb County citizens’ individual rights.

“Constitutional sanctuary county is defined as a place of refuge for the law-abiding citizen in regards to the citizens’ rights under the Constitution,” the resolution reads. “Including but not limited to the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

By approving the resolution, the board declared Macomb County to be a “constitutional sanctuary county.” It supports the Macomb County Sheriff and the Macomb County Prosecutor to not enforce any statute or law that is contrary to the rights established by the Constitution.

Klinefelt, whose district includes Eastpointe, Grosse Pointe Shores, St. Clair Shores and part of Warren, said the resolution isn’t about the Second Amendment.

Speaking to new commissioners, Klinefelt said she doesn’t want to see resolutions on abortions or welfare or God or the Second Amendment. She added that it’s not the county commission’s job to restrict guns, or make laws with regard to guns.

VanSyckel said to those who think the resolution is redundant, it’s the same as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every meeting.

“We have seen other places in our country where law enforcement has been told to stand down and to not enforce valid laws,” he said.

Matuzak, who represents Clinton Township, said she supports the Second Amendment, the U.S. Constitution, especially the part that says “well-regulated.”

“I think you can have regulations regarding weapons and ammunition and who can have what,” she said. “Nothing has come before this board that wants to take away anyone’s gun or limit ammunition or clip sizes.”

What Matuzak doesn’t like about the resolution is the board giving local authorities the ability to decide what is or isn’t constitutional.

Klinefelt provided the example of guards at the Macomb County 16th Circuit Court, noting that a vote in favor of the resolution is saying that commissioners will defund them.

“If someone wants to walk in that courthouse with a gun, you’re saying, if they’re a law-abiding citizen, we are not going to support a law that infringes on their right,” she said.

In March 2020, at a Board of Commissioners government oversight committee meeting, the governing body was tasked with considering a resolution declaring Macomb County a Second Amendment sanctuary county. At that time, a motion to bring the adoption of the resolution in front of the commission failed.

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