HOLTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Holton Township trustees have passed a resolution that designates the community as a ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ and establishes a township militia.
The board passed the resolution (PDF) at its meeting Tuesday night. Township Supervisor Alan Jager said it was the result of concerns that residents’ Second Amendment rights were being violated.
“Whether they’re trying to pass something where they’re taking your rights away without you having due process. And I want you to be able to have due process,” Jager said.
Jager said proposed gun regulations and the state’s new red flag law allowing a court to remove weapons from a person who is determined to be an extreme risk were among the concerns that prompted the resolution.
“All you had to do is go to the right court: you’re going to get the judge to do it,” Jager said.
The resolution declares the township’s “intent to oppose any infringement on the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.”
Jager said there’s no plan to patrol the area and feels that the militia designation will give residents greater legal protections to prevent guns from being taken away.
“We’re not trying to skirt anything. We’re just trying to make it so you have a fighting chance if you ever go to court. They can’t just take your guns away because you belong to a militia like the United States government says we have a right to do,” Jager said.
Attorney Randall Levine says being in a militia does not prevent a person from being subject to Michigan law regulating firearms.
“I think a resolution is more of a statement,” Levine said. “There’s nothing in the creation of a militia which is going to alter in any way the prescriptions in Michigan law that pertain to responsible gun ownership and use.”
He said that while residents have Second Amendment rights, the courts have upheld that guns can be regulated.
“How they’re used, the fact that if they’re used responsibly, where they can be carried, how they can be carried is a subject that is exclusively within the purview of the Legislature,” Levine said.