Empower Wisconsin | March 2, 2020
CALL TO ACTION — Waukesha County voters: Where do your supervisors stand on a resolution that would make the county a Second Amendment sanctuary? Click here for a link to contact information for Waukesha County supervisors.
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — There’s a gun fight going down in Waukesha County.
Supervisor Steve Whittow says his resolution aimed at making Waukesha County a Second Amendment sanctuary has been waylaid by County Board Chairman Paul Decker.
“This thing smells, smells, smells,” Whittow told Empower Wisconsin.
He and fellow supervisor Keith Hammitt say the chairman told them that the county doesn’t take up such “controversial” resolutions, according to written policy. They say they later learned there is no written policy, that Decker was simply trying to stop the board from having to move on the measure that would prohibit enforcement of gun control measures such as universal background checks and so-called Red Flag laws.
Decker insists he told the supervisors that the county policy on resolutions is more of an unwritten rule.
“We have done it by custom,” the chairman said. “I’m simply following the rules…It’s my job to defend the process and the integrity of the board.”
Decker said the board has in the past refused to take up resolutions on the legalization of marijuana and immigration policy, among others, because those issues were not in the board’s purview. And the county would have no authority to enforce the Second Amendment resolution, he added.
But Whittow and Hammitt want to know why a resolution that seeks to affirm the rights granted under the constitution isn’t germane in a conservative bastion like Waukesha County. Similar resolutions have already passed in at least four Wisconsin counties and are being taken up by more than a dozen other counties.
“We’re supposedly the strongest conservative county in the state,” Hammitt said. “I have not doubt in my mind that we would have an army (of resolution supporters) filling up that board room when it comes to a vote.”
But will the resolution come to a vote?
Whittow said he has filed all of the proper paper work well before the deadline to get the resolution on the board’s March 24 agenda. He claims county staff sat on the documents before they got caught. Whittow believes the chairman is trying to delay a vote.
Nothing will happen, Decker said, until the supervisors come up with a policy — a written one this time — allowing the board to take up resolutions like the Second Amendment Sanctuary measure. The chairman said he would take such a policy draft to the county’s executive committee.
Whittow said his constituents are growing increasingly concerned about the pressure from gun-control activists on their legislative allies to weaken the Second Amendment. That’s why the resolution is so important. He said elected officials like Decker should understand that.
“Mr. Decker does not want this resolution discussed or certainly passed by the County Board,” Whittow said in a statement. “I promise to work even harder to get the support I need to get this resolution passed. Waukesha County residents deserve protection from future over-reaching federal gun laws.”