MIAMI — County commissioners discussed a proposed declaration of intent to establish Ottawa County as a Second Amendment sanctuary county as requested by Sheriff Jeremy Floyd during their weekly meeting Tuesday, March 3.

A Second Amendment sanctuary, also known as a gun sanctuary, refers to states, counties, or cities that have adopted laws or resolutions to prohibit or impede the enforcement of certain gun control measures perceived as in violation of the Second Amendment.

Those measures include universal gun background checks, high capacity magazine bans, assault weapon bans, and red flag laws, etc.

District Attorney Kenny Wright presented the draft of a proclamation in support of the Second Amendment at the meeting that he said embodied the historical and cultural importance of firearms in Ottawa County, and acknowledged the sacrifices made by local citizens and members of the military.

“I personally support the Second Amendment, as do the other commissioners,” commissioner Russell Earls said. “Rest assured that I will not entertain any junk legislation or Internet junk. The other commissioners can speak for themselves.”

The board approved the proclamation. Sheriff Floyd thanked the commissioners and the meeting continued, but apparently there was some confusion as to what exactly had been approved.

In a phone interview that afternoon, Earls said he wanted to clear up any confusion.

“Ottawa County supports the Second Amendment but won’t be a gun sanctuary,” he said. “I want to make clear that what we passed today was a proclamation supporting and upholding the Second Amendment. It has nothing to do with becoming a sanctuary county.”

Earls updated commissioners on the work that continues at the jail after an October electrical fire caused its evacuation.

New pipes, smoke detectors, and the fire suppression system have been replaced or repaired and are awaiting inspection. Now repairs are down to rewiring the control boards (unless another unexpected find requires more repairs).

The grates that cover the drainage system have also been replaced, according to Earls, and have been welded in place so that inmates cannot remove and use them to break windows or as weapons. Officials hope to have the jail open by the end of the week or early next week. To date only 14 inmates have been returned to the jail.

Earls also relayed information he received from Ottawa County Health Department Regional Director Maria Alexander regarding measures people need to take regarding the coronavirus.

Despite public alarm and some online sensationalism, Alexander advised local residents to just keep calm and follow protocols as you would for the regular flu.

In other matters, the commissioners approved equipment, installation, and software for OneScreen interactive video conferencing to be set up in the main courtroom at the courthouse.

Wright, who has seen the system in action at the Delaware County courthouse, reported that Judge Barry Denney has applied for a grant from the Oklahoma Bar Foundation to cover the costs of the equipment and installation, which was good news for the commissioners.

Discussion was held regarding Wi-Fi service that would correlate with the OneScreen video software.

David Cline had received quotes from AT&T and Sparklight (formerly Cable One), but there was some clarification needed from both, so the item was tabled until the next meeting.