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County Council makes resolution 'statement'

A highly charged political item on the national scene recently made a local appearance.

The Abbeville County Council last week approved a resolution in support of the Second Amendment, the amendment spelling out the right to keep and bear arms.

However, the vote passed by only a narrow 4-3 margin. The resolution reads, in part:

"Council expresses its intent to stand as a Constitutional Rights Protected County for Second Amendment rights and to lawfully oppose any efforts to unconstitutionally restrict such rights, and to use such legal means at its disposal to protect the rights of its citizens to keep and bear arms.

"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Abbeville County Council in a meeting duly assembled:

"Abbeville County Council hereby expresses its strong support for the rights of citizens to bear arms pursuant to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 20 of the Constitution of South Carolina, and urges the members of the General Assembly and the Governor to take no action which would violate the freedoms guaranteed in both Constitutions."

According to Abbeville County Council member Rick Campbell, Oconee County Council passed a similar resolution recently, and from that came a number of requests for Abbeville County Council to take up a similar measure.

Campbell, who voted against the resolution, said the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution, and therefore does not need any such resolution.

However, a number of Council members wanted to "take a stand" so to speak, against what they thought were attempts to infringe upon the amendment.

Campbell also voted against an amendment to the resolution because he thought the amendment was brought up at the last minute and Council did not have time to discuss it.

"I would have voted for the resolution if it did not have the amendment on there," he said.

Campbell was joined by Council members John Calhoun and Charles Goodwin in voting against the resolution, as amended.

"I did not really change the context of the Resolution," said Council member Drew Simpson about the amendment he proposed. "The last two paragraphs were kind of redundant the way it was written. I just made the amendment to make it flow a little better and easier to read."

"Basically, County Council is just showing that we support the Second Amendment," said County Council chairperson Kristi Smith Thursday.

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