Camden County passes Second Amendment perseverance ordinance

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Camden County Courthouse.

After facing a turbulent start to 2021, the Camden County Commission worked together Tuesday morning to pass an ordinance protecting the second amendment rights of county residents. 

The ordinance, following closely to the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) bill currently on the floor on the state level, installs protections on all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations which infringe on rights guaranteed by the U.S. Second Amendment. 

First District Commissioner James Gohagan provided the exact language of the ordinance, which reads as follows:

All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this county, shall not be recognized by this county, are specifically rejected by this county, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this county.

            (2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:

            (a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;

            (b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;

            (c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

            (d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

            (e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

            (f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens;

            (g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens

Gohagan says he worked alongside peers to tune the language of the ordinance, including Sheriff Tony Helms. Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty and Second District Commissioner Don Williams voted in favor, though are working on some resolutions to language within the ordinance. These resolutions will be voted on Thursday. 

Gohagan says that he is happy to have come to an agreement with his fellow commissioners and hopes this success will breed more positive work in the future.

“I think this is great,” Gohagan said. “I’ve got a million ideas, but I want to be able to come to them and seek guidance.”

Camden County also made a change last week to a county mandate requiring restaurants to require Hepatitis-A shots for new workers. Gohagan says this decision was brought to the attention of the commission by local residents who believed it infringed upon their religious freedoms. H.R.1308, or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, was used as a basis for making the decision by the commission.

They voted to revise the mandate, no longer requiring this shot. However, county restaurants can still require the Hep-A shot by their own ruling, it is simply no longer required by the county. 

According to the Missouri State Health and Senior Services website, “Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Although rare, hepatitis A can cause death in some people. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.”

According to the website, only 3 Hep-A deaths have been recorded in Camden County as of March 2020.