by Genevieve Grippo

A group of Jackson County residents is petitioning to block any future legislation that would ban firearms, restrict the ownership of guns and/or gun accessories, or require firearms to be registered.

The petition, called the Right to Bear Arms Charter Amendment, would “keep and bear arms as originally understood, in self-defense and preservation, and in defense of one’s community and country.”

If the amendment is passed, the county would still be required to follow all federal laws related to gun ownership. However, any state laws passed that are considered to be a violation of the constitution would not be enforced within the county.

Determining what laws are or are not a violation of the constitution would fall on the Sheriff, according to the amendment.

The idea is strikingly similar to the group’s previous push for a Second Amendment Protection Ordinance. The difference lies in how to implement the law, and how to repeal it.

Ordinances can be approved by Jackson County’s Commissioners, while charter amendments have to go to citizens for a vote. Legislators can also remove ordinances, while county charter amendments are more permanent fixtures.

“While an ordinance is good, an ordinance is enforceable, it is also much easier contested,” said Jason Williams, one of three of the amendment’s Chief Petitioners. “The county charter amendment cannot be changed by politicians. If somebody wants to change it, they have to do what we’re doing to get it changed.”

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