Ward County leadership wants AG’s take on Second Amendment resolution

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 4:32 PM CDT
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WARD COUNTY, N.D. – Leadership in Ward County is now reaching out to the Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s office to get his opinion on whether Ward County should move forward with making itself a Second Amendment sanctuary.

This comes after months of back-and-forth between the sheriff, state’s attorney, county commissioners, and concerned citizens over the citizen-introduced resolution.

Similar to the Preservation Act, the resolution has been modified to fit Ward County’s legal standings.

When the item came up on this month’s agenda, Commissioner Shelly Weppler moved to receive and file the updated document, citing concern from both sides of the issue, though Chairman John Fjeldahl equated that option to essentially “killing it.”

State’s Attorney Roza Larson said she reached out to Stenehjem’s office for further direction, but said she does not think it’s in the commissioners’ best interest to adopt the ordinance.

“I’m on the opinion that the courts and the AG will probably find that it’s not within your authority, despite that fact that you are home ruled,” said Larson.

The commissioners agreed to receive and file the item but revisit it when Stenehjem offers his take.

At the end of the meeting, Travis Zablotney, a supporter of the resolution, said he was caught off guard and disappointed at how it was handled.

“This is really quite an embarrassment, it should be to the county that we have spent four weeks plus now and we still haven’t gotten anywhere on this issue. That’s all my comments,” said Zablotney.

Larson said it could take weeks to months to receive an opinion from the AG’s office.

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