WHITLEY COUNTY — The Whitley County Fiscal Court will host its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 21 that will include a hot topic resolution. During the meeting, members of the Whitley County Fiscal Court will discuss and vote on a resolution that would see Whitley County become a sanctuary county if approved.
“A sanctuary county resolution, I believe, is a statement by the local fiscal court — and it’s usually supported by several other officials, I know I spoke to our county attorney and our sheriff — that the fiscal court and the county value the second amendment, our second amendment rights and don’t intend to enforce rules that would be contrary to the second amendment of the United States Constitution,” explained Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr.
The sanctuary county resolution will be discussed during the court’s other business section of its agenda. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting and a guest sign-in sheet will be available for those who wish to voice their questions, support or concerns to the court.
White says that most of the feedback he has received about the resolution has been in support of it.
“I think that is important,” said White on community members coming to the fiscal court meeting to show their support. “It shows that our community does value our second amendment and our second amendment rights, and that sort of showing would resonate with our leaders in high levels of office at the state and federal level.”
Fiscal courts all across Kentucky have passed similar resolutions, or are in discussions about resolutions, that would see their counties become sanctuary counties. Nearly 30 counties have passed a resolution similar to Whitley County’s so far.
The Facebook group “Kentucky United” currently has over 76,000 members and has played a large role in bringing the discussion of sanctuary counties to the forefront.
“Largely it’s coming from concern of what’s going on in Virginia,” White said. “There are new gun regulations that are coming into effect in Virginia that have scared people that they’re going to lose their rights, and people are going to have their homes invaded and otherwise be infringed upon.”
White is referring to Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam now having partisan support to pass gun regulations that were preempted by state Republicans last summer. After the 2019 election, Republicans have lost legislative control within the state, thus leading some to believe Northam’s gun regulations would have a better chance of being passed by newly elected Democrats.
“People and fiscal courts want to make the statement that we don’t believe that’s the right way to go as a country,” said White. “We want to be heard. We believe in the second amendment. We believe in our rights to defend ourselves and our homes, and we want those rights to be protected by our state and federal level governments.”
White says the resolution wouldn’t overturn state or federal law, the fiscal court doesn’t have the authority to do so. However, the resolution acts a way of saying that the court and citizens do not agree or believe in the proposed regulations being sent forward by the likes of Gov. Northam in Virginia.
“We can say that we don’t believe in it. We can say it publicly in a form that shows that people around the state are standing united, that this is not something that we want to see as far as new policy, and that we’re not going to help enforce those kind of things.”
The fiscal court meeting is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Whitley County Courthouse.