Knox Sanctuary County

As Kentucky lawmakers tackle sensitive issues such as gun control measures, a movement of citizens advocating for resolutions protecting their constitutional rights by declaring counties as Second Amendment Sanctuaries has washed over the state. 

In response to efforts by a local group, “Knox County 2A Sanctuary” and other citizens voicing support for such a resolution, the Knox County Fiscal Court will address the matter soon.

According to Knox County Judge-Executive Mike Mitchell, at the January 22 regular meeting of the Fiscal Court, a resolution declaring Knox County a Second Amendment Sanctuary County will be discussed and voted on. “There’s no chance of it not passing,” Mitchell said Tuesday evening. In comments last week to The Mountain Advocate, Mitchell said he and those serving on the Fiscal Court support the Second Amendment 100% but were taking a careful approach to the issue. “We’re not going to rush this just because other counties have,” he said at the time.

Originally a local offshoot of the statewide Facebook movement Kentucky United, but now separate group, “Knox County 2A Sanctuary” has been working to rally citizens from the area to stand up for Second Amendment rights and opposes red flag laws. In a nutshell, the red flag laws would allow for individuals to have their weapons confiscated if someone reported them as being dangerous.

In a statement to The Mountain Advocate, the local group’s leader, Scot Clouse, said “I believe that we as Knox Countians, Kentuckians, and Americans should have our rights protected. The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to own firearms if we so choose. These new proposed gun laws not only further limits us on firearms but makes some that we already own illegal. That’s infringement on our constitutional rights. As for the red flag laws, they will not work, even with the expertise of medical professionals the system is too subjective to gamble our freedoms on.”

Clouse’s statement came following a January 2 article announcing his group’s online petition seeking 5,000 signatures to present to the Knox County Fiscal Court in support of a resolution declaring Knox County a Second Amendment Sanctuary county. In that original article, it appeared Clouse supported the proposed Red Flag laws endorsed by Governor Andy Beshear and introduced by three state senators,  two Republican and one Democrat, in August 2019. Clouse has made it clear through multiple statements on social media and in direct communication with The Mountain Advocate that he does not support them.

The Knox County Fiscal Court will meet Wednesday, January 22 at 11:30 a.m. at the Knox County Courthouse. 

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Charles is a native of Barbourville, Kentucky. He has worked with The Mountain Advocate in various capacities since 2003.

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