Parke, Vigo, and other counties protest restrictive gun laws

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PARKE Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Parke, Vigo, and other counties across the Wabash Valley are petitioning for county officials to declare their counties a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Second Amendment sanctuaries allow counties to maintain their own gun legislation and protect their right to bear arms.

Justin Potts, a member of the Parke Co. group, said the declaration is just a precautionary measure.

“We’re just trying to go ahead and preemptively take that stance saying that you know we don’t want this in our state.”

Indiana lawmakers have proposed imposing tougher restrictions on gun owners, such as changing the legal age to purchase a firearm and implementing universal background checks.

Potts said this proposed legislation infringes upon their constitutional rights.

“They deserve that right and you have elected officials in certain positions that don’t see it that way,” said Potts.

Scott Brown, another Parke Co. organizer, said the public’s support is a key component to the movement.

“Right now we have a online petition going around and we’re working on a paper petition and we’r going to take that to our county commissioners and our sheriff,” said Brown.

Brown said the lack of support from county officials will leave them vulnerable, if the proposed legislation is passed by the state.

“Without it we don’t have any protection as far as if the state would come down like they have in Virginia and try to enforce gun laws that are ridiculous, then at the county level we’ll be protected,” said Brown.

WTWO reached out to the Parke Co. and Vigo Co. Sheriff’s Office for comment on this issue.

Parke Co. Sheriff, Justin Cole, declined to comment.

Vigo Co. Sheriff, John Plasse, said the following:

“While I strongly support Second Amendment rights, I do not take public positions on matters of debate in the political climate beyond that statement.  My oath includes defending the Constitution of the United States, and I believe that is sufficient to state my position.  Moreover, I am sworn to enforce the laws of the United States and the State of Indiana as a law enforcement officer.  I strive to do that every day with all of the members of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office.”

The Vigo Co. Second Amendment sanctuary group has received nearly 100 signatures and they meet daily to obtain more signatures.

The Parke Co. group has received 518 signatures since the group formed in January.

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