Hernando County is a ‘Second Amendment sanctuary,’ commissioners declare

Gun shop owner and Commissioner Steve Champion spearheads the resolution.
Hernando County Commissioner Steve Champion
Hernando County Commissioner Steve Champion
Published Dec. 18, 2019

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County is the latest to declare itself a Second Amendment sanctuary and did so at the urging of county Commissioner Steve Champion, owner of American Gun and Pawn shop in Brooksville.

Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution on Tuesday. Champion acknowledged it had “no teeth” and was mostly “ceremonial.” Hernando joins other communities in Florida and around the nation that want to highlight their support for the right to bear arms, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"Of course,'' Champion said, "all of the Bill of Rights are important.''

Commissioners quibbled over the resolution’s wording. Commissioner John Mitten voiced concern about the term “sanctuary,” as it has referred to communities that didn’t enforce certain rules regarding undocumented residents. Champion wanted to mimic the wording used by other communities.

Two weeks ago, Citrus County adopted the same designation.

Champion has taken heat for efforts to demonstrate his support for gun ownership, which some see as promoting his business. Some criticized his recent suggestion to seek federal funding for a long-distance gun range on public lands in the county. The idea has not gone further than the investigation stage.