Organization wants to make Carlton County a Second Amendment sanctuary
Carlton County for 2A Sanctuary is concerned about red flag laws.
A new grassroots organization hopes to make Carlton County a Second Amendment sanctuary.
The Carlton County for 2A Sanctuary Facebook group was started Feb. 26 and has 2,203 members as of Tuesday, April 7. The goal of the group is to have the County Board of Commissioners adopt a resolution making Carlton County a Second Amendment sanctuary for gun owners.
Jason Smith, one of the organizers, said the group's efforts exploded in the first few weeks after they started the Facebook page. He said the movement is not politically motivated and is inclusive regardless of age, gender or political affiliation.
Smith, 40, has enjoyed his gun rights for 20 years, he said. He and his wife are avid hunters, and he said he feels safer with a gun at home.
Fellow organizer Allan Wallin, 54, said he agrees. He grew up bird hunting with his dad as a kid. After he married and had children of his own, he put hunting aside for many years, he said.
Smith and Wallin said the group is concerned about red flag laws that have been enacted in several states.
Red flag laws, or extreme risk protection orders, are protection orders granted by a court that allow local law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from someone they believe may be a danger to others or themselves, Wallin said.
Once a judge grants an order and the person's guns are removed from their home, a follow-up hearing is scheduled for a few weeks later. At that time, the judge can decide whether guns can be returned to the person or stay with law enforcement for a set period of time. A red flag legislation tracker published by The Trace — "an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit newsroom dedicated to shining a light on America’s gun violence crisis," according to its website — shows that 18 states have passed red flag laws.
Wallin said he's concerned about the immediate action the protection orders set in motion.
“Anyone could say someone else is a danger without any proof,” Wallin said. “It’s a civil rights violation.”
Wallin and Smith said they believe making Carlton County a 2A sanctuary would stop or limit red flag laws from being implemented in the county. Nine counties in Minnesota have already become 2A sanctuaries, they said.
But Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola said that's not true. If the Minnesota Legislature approves a red flag law, the state law would be upheld even if Carlton County is a 2A sanctuary.
An informational meeting has been postponed.