Commissioners look to turn Manatee County into 'Second Amendment sanctuary'

Manatee County Commissioner Jason Bearden said he wants to protect the Second Amendment rights of residents. He’s calling for Manatee to become a gun sanctuary county

"This would be a good opportunity to send a message to Joe Biden that his unconstitutional policies will not be tolerated right here in Manatee County, and he can take his policies and stick it where the sun don’t shine," he said Tuesday morning. 

Commissioner Bearden did not hold his feelings back. 

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"I didn’t get elected to be politically correct. I’m here to do what the people elected me to do," he said. 

Every commissioner at the meeting agreed, saying it would protect the county from Federal laws that they say contradict the Second Amendment. 

"It doesn’t create any more violence, it doesn’t create any more guns. It doesn’t create any more crimes with guns or anything like that it just creates that we will not impede our ability or infringe our ability with what the Second Amendment stands for in Manatee County," said Manatee Commissioner Mike Rahn. 

The resolution was brought up on the fifth anniversary of the Parkland school shooting. 

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"Had one person been in that school it could have been stopped. So it’s sad that people have the wrong impression, the majority of people who carry are good people. Good solid citizens that want to help protect our state and our country," said Manatee Commissioner Vanessa Baugh. 

Not all agreed. 

"Here in Manatee County, it makes no sense at all. It’s like a gun fetish. I don’t understand it at all," said Glenn Pearson, the vice chair of the Manatee County Democratic Party. 

He called the move disrespectful to families who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence, including Parkland. 

"If it doesn’t change anything, then why do it? What’s the symbolism here? What’s the message we are trying to send? It makes no sense," he said. 

Commissioners voted 6-0 to have the county attorney draft a resolution to make Manatee County a Second Amendment sanctuary county. It does not change any gun regulations already on the books.