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N.J. county where Trump is holding rally declares itself a gun ‘sanctuary’

N.J. Attorney General Christopher Porrino and acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick said a statewide gun buyback last week was the largest in New Jersey history, bringing in 4,775 weapons during a two-day amnesty period. (NJ Advance Media/TNS)

Freeholders in Cape May have approved a resolution declaring the county a “Second Amendment / Lawful Gun Owner Sanctuary,” following in the footsteps of two pro-gun N.J. municipalities.

The resolution states opposition to any legislation, at the state or federal level, that “could have the effect of infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens to keep and bears arms.”

It was approved in a 4-0 vote on Tuesday night, two weeks ahead of President Donald Trump’s Jan. 28 campaign rally in Wildwood.

Unlike similar resolutions adopted late last year in West Milford and Sussex Borough, Cape May’s version does not single out for criticism a new state law allows for removing weapons from someone judged a threat to themselves or others.

However, while silent on New Jersey’s so-called red flag law, it condemns an Assembly bill that would require gun owners to obtain at least $50,00 in liability insurance.

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Cape May is believed to be the first county in New Jersey to adopt a pro-gun resolution. The wording is similar to resolutions that have been approved by county and local jurisdictions in several other states this year.

Most notably, in Virginia, nearly half of the counties there have adopted resolutions declaring themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.” The use of “sanctuary” is a play on jurisdictions using the same term to express support for undocumented immigrants in their communities.

Freeholder boards in two other Republican-dominated counties, Salem and Sussex, are considering resolutions.

Salem County Freeholder Director Benjamin H. Laury said a vote is possible at the board’s next meeting.

“We took an oath to uphold the constitution, which includes the Second Amendment,” he said.

West Milford adopted its first-in-the-state resolution Dec. 4, six days before a deadly shooting spree in Jersey City killed four people, including a Jersey City police officer and three inside a grocery store.

The day after the shootings, Gov. Phil Murphy reiterated his call for federal gun legislation to lessen gun violence. The two suspects in Jersey City, both of whom were killed after a three-hour standoff with police, brought four guns into the store and had one in a van parked across the street.

Unlike West Milford, the Sussex Borough Council opted not to characterize the borough as a “sanctuary” for law-abiding gun owners, though regardless of the wording neither resolution overrides state and federal laws regulating weapons and ammunition.

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© 2020 NJ Advance Media Group