LIVE OAK — Suwannee County residents have — and will continue to have — the right to bear arms.

At its Monday meeting, the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Ronnie Richardson, the District 5 commissioner, noted the county became the second in the State of Florida to approve that designation with others expected to pass similar resolutions.

“There’s other counties waiting in the wings to pass theirs,” Richardson said.

Lake County became the state’s first Second Amendment sanctuary when its commissioners unanimously approved a resolution at a Nov. 5 meeting. Marion County also approved a similar resolution at a meeting Tuesday morning.

“I know it’s largely symbolic,” Richardson added. “But I think the people of Suwannee County want us to make sure that we stand behind the Second Amendment. I just appreciate whoever put it up and what it stands for.

“I overwhelmingly support it.”

Ricky Gamble, the board chairman and the District 3 commissioner, said after receiving several requests for the board to pass such a resolution, he just wished the board could accomplished it sooner.

“My only regret is we weren’t the first county in the state to have it up and done,” Gamble said. “The Second Amendment makes all the other amendments possible. If we don’t stand up for it, nobody will.”

The Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions come in response to pushes for gun control in the state and country in response to mass shootings, including the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018 and the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016.

Jamie Wachter is the editor of the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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