Town becomes first to declare itself a first & second amendment sanctuary

Mooresville town council voted 4-1 to declare itself a “sanctuary town” for both the first and the second amendments, becoming the first town in Indiana to do so.

“I get tired of the solution to gun violence being punishing innocent, law-abiding gun owners,” Councilman Shane Williams, who spearheaded both resolutions, said. “I think it’s wrong. It doesn’t solve a single amount of crime.”

The Second Amendment sanctuary proposal states that the town will “oppose any public funds being used to infringe on the constitutional guarantee to keep and bear arms.”

The First Amendment sanctuary resolution opposes government actions that could curtail religious liberties and promote cancel culture.

“A lot of people have serious concerns about an overreaching federal government,” Williams added. “They see things like cancel culture. They see things like people being punished for their political speech. They see an assault on their Second Amendment.”

“I don’t know anytime anyone has had their free speech taken away from them,” Councilman Tom Warthen, said. Despite doubting if the resolutions were necessary, Warthen voted to approve them.

The town’s legal counsel advised they have no effect on the police department and no effect on state statutes like the red flag law. Without the means to enforce such resolutions, some members accused Williams of grandstanding.

“If it’s grandstanding, I’m happy to grandstand,” Williams said. “I take your rights seriously, I take my oath seriously. I have no problem reaffirming that oath through a resolution.”

About 1/3 of all Indiana counties are second amendment sanctuaries, most recently, Warrick County, whose council approved the measure in February. Moorseville is the first, however, to approve such a designation for the first amendment as well.

Multiple states have passed second amendment sanctuary legislation including Montana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.