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Macon County Resolution Protects 2nd Amendment, Entire U.S. Constitution And NC Laws

Lilly Knoepp
The Macon County commissioner's meeting on Tuesday night lasted past 11pm in part because of discussions about a resolution reaffirming the county's commitment to the 2nd amendment of the U.S. constituion.

 Macon County Commissioners voted to approve a constitutional support resolution Tuesday night.  This resolution was different from a 2nd Amendment sanctuary resolution many other counties in North Carolina have passed.

For 3 months, Macon County commissioners have been discussing this – and Tuesday night’s meeting was the biggest yet.

About 40 people spoke during the public comment period.  Some weren’t there for guns but for additional funding for art programs at Macon County schools.  The tone of public commenters was mostly civil. Mary Engram spoke against the resolution. 

“I would love to see us come together. Because I don’t believe that Sheriff Holland is going to come up to my door and take my gun away. I don’t have that fear,” said Engram. 

Donnie Holden, who wrote and presented a 2nd Amendment sanctuary resolution for the board, was one of the first people to speak. He explained that he had made a compromise resolution with Commissioners Karl Gillespie and Paul Higdon on Friday night.

Credit Lilly Knoepp
Maconian Donnie Holden spoke to the crowd about this work writing the 2nd Amendment protection resolution over the last 3 months.

But Holden showed little hope that it would pass: 

“From what I have seen some of the commissioners and the sheriff never had any intention of putting forward a resolution from the people,” said Holden, who presented a petition for the resolution that he says has 1,957 signatures. 

Holden explained that there was a more general resolution written by the county attorney Chester Jones. 

 “That resolution is not worth the paper it was printed on for the people of this county,” said Holden. “I have one question, 'Is my presumption correct? Is there an attorney resolution being considered by this board?'”

Jones explained he was concerned about any resolution protecting constitutional rights since ultimately the judicial system in the United States declares what is constitutional.

“I do believe that there are some potential issues for the county under this ordinance,” said Jones. “And the resolution that I prepared for the consideration of the county commissioners provides the most protection for the county.”

After 10 pm, Higdon called for a vote on Holden’s version of the resolution – which was read into the record for clarity. It was voted down 3 to 2. County Commissioners then passed the constitutional support resolution 4 to 1. 

The resolution is titled, “Resolution Fully Supporting And Maintaining The 2nd Amendment To The United States Constitution As Well As The Entire United States Constitution And The Laws Of The United States And The Entire north Carolina Constitution And The Laws Of The State Of North Carolina Which Are Not InConsistent Therewith.”

This move is in line with Haywood County’s constitutional support resolution passedlast month.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.