HANOVER, Pa. (WHTM) — Supervisors have approved an ordinance to establish West Manheim Township as a Second Amendment sanctuary.
Supervisors voted nearly unanimously to accept the ordinance at their Tuesday meeting. The meeting drew hundreds of residents, so much so it was standing room only.
The ordinance, supervisors said, does not change the law but simply reinforces existing law, specifically the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The ordinance will not allow township funds, assets or personnel to be directly involved in any legislation that would infringe upon Second Amendment rights.
Supervisors feel they have legal authority to refuse to cooperate with any potential gun control laws down the road that violate the Second Amendment.
The ordinance describes not adhering to what it calls unlawful acts, like the imposing of taxes or fees on firearms, accessories or related items that you wouldn’t get on any other product. Another described unlawful act, in the township’s opinion, would be ordering the confiscation of firearms from law-abiding citizens, except in the case of a protection from abuse order or other legal matters where a convicted felon is not to possess a firearm.
The meeting was packed but respectful and civil, with passion both for and against the ordinance.
“The township does not have the authority to criminalize the enforcement of state and federal law,” said Andrea Burns, with Mothers Demand Action, a group that opposed the ordinance.
“Guns have been here for 400 years. Guns aren’t the problem, people are the problem,” said Raymond Proctor, a supporter of the ordinance. “Again, bring God back, bring God into the schools.”
There is precedent for similar sanctuaries in Pennsylvania, in Bradford County and Perry County’s Buffalo Township.
Some people expressed concern Tuesday about potential litigation after the ordinance passed, fearing the vote violates either state or federal law.
The ordinance takes effect in five days.