Commissioner Connie Hohn

Commissioner Connie Hohn at Monday's Hughes County Commission meeting.

Hughes County joined Bennett, Fall River and Pennington counties in declaring itself a Second Amendment sanctuary with a resolution passed at Monday’s commission meeting.

The resolution states “the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms is guaranteed as an individual right under the Second Amendment to United States Constitution and under the Constitution of the State of South Dakota” and thus “no employee or official of Hughes County may assist Federal employees, agents or officials in the enforcement of executive orders in violation of the above-referenced Constitutional provisions.”

The five-member board passed the resolution unanimously.

Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions, as described by gun journalism non-profit The Trace, can be “general declarations in support of Second Amendment rights, while others specify how a community will withhold support for state or federal gun laws.”

Commissioner Connie Hohn said she brought forth the resolution to bring Hughes County up to speed with previous resolutions coming out of the state Legislature and the three West River counties that previously declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries.

“There was a resolution on the state level that passed that says, ‘We support the Second Amendment.’ It doesn’t really do anything, it just says that we support it,” Hohn said. “And there’s a lot of West River counties that have already adopted this resolution, and so I was looking to do the same thing.”

Discussion of the resolution was brief, with Commissioner Randy Vance saying, “Any time we’re supporting the Constitution of the United States, I’m totally for it.”

The Trace, funded in part by gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, estimated that 400 municipalities passed resolutions “opposing the enforcement of certain gun laws passed by state or federal lawmakers” by January 2020, including more than 120 in Virginia over the space of two months.

A resolution does not make or change any ordinances but rather is a position statement.

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