Mt. Pleasant resident asks council to make town a ‘constitutional city’

MT. PLEASANT—A Mt. Pleasant resident has asked the city council to make his hometown a “constitutional city.”

Resident Mark Larsen made his proposal Tuesday, April 13, before the Mt. Pleasant City Council.

Larsen claimed there are cities and counties that have become “Second Amendment sanctuaries” and will not enforce laws that violate the Constitution or infringe on the rights of the people to own firearms.

But Larsen said, “I think it needs to go further.” He wants Mt. Pleasant to declare itself to be a “constitutional city.”

While a Second Amendment sanctuary refuses to enforce state or federal gun laws, a constitutional city would withhold resources for enforcement of any state or federal law the city council considered to be unconstitutional.

Larsen said he had read articles that say that Second Amendment sanctuaries have “no legal weight” and “won’t overcome state or federal law.”

“I’m not a lawyer or a political scholar and I won’t pretend to be,” Larsen said but added, “I believe there is strength in numbers.”

Councilman Kevin Stallings called Larsen’s proposal “interesting.”

“Very interesting,” Mayor Michael Olsen replied.

“Can we pass that?” Councilman Justin Atkinson asked.

Olsen said the city needs to draft a resolution first.

City Recorder Jeanne Tejada was going to send links about the proposal to the council members.

The Messenger contacted RonNell Andersen Jones, a constitutional law professor at the University of Utah.

“Under our longstanding constitutional system, a city has no authority to override federal law,” she said. “A city can, of course, decide how it will direct its own enforcement efforts, so if the city decides it does not support a particular federal program, law or mandate, it is free to opt not to give its resources to any of those efforts.

“But it cannot undo federal law, and the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution (declaring the Constitution to be the “supreme law of the land”) makes clear that (a city) cannot invalidate federal law with just the passage of its own municipal law. Federal law prevails when the two conflict.”