Lake County declares itself ‘gun sanctuary,’ Lee County looking into it

The debate over guns in the United States continues to remain prominent on the national stage, especially after a Democrat proposed confiscating what he calls “weapons of war.”

But one Florida community is opposing this proposal by becoming a “sanctuary county” for guns.

We looked into the debate over guns and whether Southwest Florida could head in the same direction.

John Dezendorf, the owner of Fowler Firearms and Gun Range, believes in everyone’s right to bear arms, but he worries that it could be taken away from Americans in the future.

“It’s always in the back of your mind; it is,” Dezendorf said. “Because the laws have been constantly changing, and they’ve been changing in my opinion more towards hindering us a little bit.”

That’s why Dezendorf and other locals support Lake County’s decision to become a “gun sanctuary.”

That means the county wants to protect its community from gun restrictions imposed at the federal level.

While Lake County is the first county in the state to declare itself a “sanctuary county,” more than 130 counties in states nationwide have declared themselves “second amendment sanctuaries.”

But Attorney Pamella Seay, an FGCU professor, said a county can’t ignore federal law.

“It can’t truly block it,” Seay said. “But what it can do is provide a forum from which we can take that to court and allow a judge to review it.”

Lake County is the only one in the state to pass such a resolution, and Lee County might not be far behind.

County Commissioner Brian Hamman is open to the idea and is already looking into it.

“When I saw that this had passed, I actually was going to reach out to a county commissioner that I know in that county to get the language to see what it was that they passed,” Hamman said.

There are others in Southwest Florida who want to work toward stronger gun laws to prevent gun violence and protect people.

“We are home to some major shootings including Parkland and Pulse,” said Crystal Wimperis, and advocate with Moms Demand Action. “We cannot wait for another tragedy to happen to act. We cannot wait.”

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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