Gypsum Town Council members passed a resolution, 6-1, to support the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution at their meeting Tuesday night.
Council member Tom Edwards abstained, saying he mostly supported the resolution but didn't agree with some of its language.
The Second Amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms. In the wake of some shooting tragedies across the country, state and federal governments are divided over gun control issues. Some feel the Second Amendment is under attack.
"I think this is a sad time when small towns have to pass resolutions to support the Constitution," said Gypsum Council member Pam Schultz. "If we have to support this amendment that already exists, what else will we have to support? We shouldn't have to be doing this."
Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll said the resolution was the idea of Gypsum Mayor Pro Tem Dick Mayne.
"It originally came from Jefferson County Commissioners and (Mayne) emailed it to me," Shroll said. "This was not initiated by town staff."
Gypsum Mayor Steve Carver said there was resounding support for the resolution.
"It's official - we support the Second Amendment," he said.
Shroll said the signed resolution will be sent to state and federal representatives.
The document reads:
A RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF GYPSUM, COLORADO, IN DEFENSE OF 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.
WHEREAS, The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed," and
WHEREAS, the right to arms and self-defense is recognized in State Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the natural and inalienable right to self-defense is well established in the writing of many philosophers and authors since ancient times of Greece and Rome; and
WHEREAS, for centuries tyrants have recognized that a disarmed population is readily dominated; and
WHEREAS, the Second Amendment protects the rights of self-defense, defense of others and defense of the nation, and assumes the rights to hunting and sport shooting; and
WHEREAS, it is estimated that more than 70 million people, representing more than half of the households in America, have chosen to lawfully exercise the right to bear arms and defend themselves and their families; and
WHEREAS, many gun control laws implicitly assume the guilt of lawful and responsible firearms owners with little effect on the ability of criminals to obtain firearms and use them unlawfully; and
WHEREAS, statistically, lawful gun owners are less likely to break the law than the average member of the public; and
WHEREAS, studies by the National Academies of Science and the Centers for Disease Control have found no persuasive evidence that "gun control" laws actually reduce crime; and
WHEREAS, in 2008 the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's - rather than a collective- right to keep and bear arms, and in 2010 in McDonald v. City of Chicago the Supreme Court further opined that the right of an individual to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the States; and
WHEREAS, today, Americans are safer from violent crime than they have been at any time since the mid-1960s.
NOW, THEREFOR, BE IT RESOLVED the Town of Gypsum, State of Colorado, WILL uphold the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and WILL act conformity with our sworn duties as duly elected officials charged with public trust and WILL, in conjunction with prior decisions by the United States.
The Gypsum Town Council strongly urges the United States Senate to reject the international treaties that will infringe on the Second Amendment rights of American citizens; including United Nations (UN) Arms Trade Treaty, Inter- American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms (CIFTA), or the Un Programme of Action. And that neither the United States Congress nor the Colorado General Assembly of the State of Colorado should entertain consideration of any new legislation that would infringe on constitutionally protected rights under the Second Amendment through any means, including additional restrictions on lawful firearms and accessories; or on the possession, use, sale or transfer of legitimately owned firearms.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Gypsum Town Council calls upon the United States Congress and the Colorado General Assembly to recognize the multitudes of existing laws related to the manufacture, sale and possession of firearms, and acknowledge that in order to combat gun violence, the Country must enforce existing laws and more effectively punish and deter those who commit these crimes.