Two Long County residents on Tuesday asked the Long County Commission not to support federal laws that they fear might violate the U.S. Constitution, specifically gun-control regulations.
Kenny Long and Garrett Anderson requested that the commission adopt a resolution stating that Long County would not enforce any new federal laws that violate the rights of citizens under the Second Amendment, which gives people the right to keep and bear arms. Long told the commissioners that if they adopt a resolution, it should include provisions for local authorities to arrest any federal agent who enters the county to enforce a law that the county has deemed a violation of the Constitution. Long said he met with Sheriff Craig Nobles, who he said told him that the Georgia Sheriff’s Association put out a statement opposing gun-control laws that infringe on gun-owner’s rights. Long said the sheriff supports citizens being able to own guns to protect their homes.
Two commissioners questioned whether the county has the authority to create the resolution Long requested and said that they don’t think it legally could be enforced.
“We can’t do that,” said Commissioner David Richardson, who added that people who do not follow federal laws regarding gun control can be arrested and charged with a crime. Commissioner Andy Fuller said it was his understanding that even if the county did make a resolution or ordinance, a federal law would supersede it.
Long said the Constitution is the ultimate law of the land and if a federal law violates it, it is the responsibility of the states not to recognize it.
On Wednesday, Nobles and Commission Chairman Bobby Walker both commented on the matter.
“As a duly elected sheriff of Georgia, I took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and I stand by the Second Amendment. All Georgia sheriffs have agreed to aggressively oppose federal or state legislation that infringes upon law-abiding citizens’ rights to bear arms. These sheriffs further agree to support any legislature that would effectively penalize criminals who use firearms in the commission of crimes,” Nobles said.
Walker said the commission could draft a resolution but only after gathering input from the community. He said that he encourages any citizen in the county to provide their opinion on this matter and turn it in at the commissioner’s office in the courthouse.
In other public-safety business, Long County resident Gerald Blocker asked the commission about the county’s policy regarding trees that fall and block roadways. He said he has been called several times about trees that fell near where he lives, and he cleared the road. He said efforts were made to contact members of the county’s road crew, but they were unsuccessful.
Commissioner Wallace Shaw said that during a storm, LCSO deputies patrol the roads to ensure they’re clear. Some deputies have saws in their vehicles to help clear roads when a blocked one is found. Walker said the policy calls for the emergency management agency director to be contacted, and he then coordinates the road clearance.
Regarding the marking of E-911 addresses in the county, Walker said progress has been made. Blocker said he found many Long County homes were not in the E-911 system with a GPS listing, which could make it tough for EMS units to find an address. Walker said the Wiregrass Communication Center previously had problems getting GPS information, but efforts are being made to correct it. If anyone in the county wants to verify that their address is in the GPS system, they can all the Long County Code Enforcement Office at 545-3683.
Richardson said there are several dispatcher job openings at the Wiregrass Communication Center, and efforts would be made to hire applicants from Long County.
Long/Liberty County EMS Director Robyn Todd gave her monthly report. In January, 107 EMS calls were responded to with an average response time of a little more than 12 minutes. She said that the two busiest days of the week for calls were Thursday and Friday; the slowest day was Sunday. With school back in session, Todd said Long County EMS technicians resumed their mentoring program at Smiley Elementary. She also said that by March, she should know whether a grant to replace an ambulance is approved.