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(The Center Square) – Sheriffs in Madison County and Cedar County are urging their counties to join Hardin County and Jasper County in joining “second amendment sanctuary” jurisdictions.

Hardin County and Jasper County approved resolutions on July 14 and July 13, respectively, based on a resolution the guns rights group Iowa Firearms Coalition drafted.

Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington is on the Iowa Firearms Coalition’s board of directors. He and Iowa Firearms Coalition Chairman Michael Ware discussed the resolution in a YouTube video posted July 15.

“We’re not just talking about a corrupt federal government,” Wethington said. “It is so the average person can defend themselves against all who would do them wrong.”

Ware said he sees firearms as “simply a tool, a tool for preparedness.”

“It’s the person behind it, the person that wields it, a person with character and thinking and preparedness and know-how to truly make the difference,” Ware said. “And I think that’s probably the largest part of the character associated with these resolutions. You’re saying, as a county, ‘I believe in the character of the people that live in this county and we’re going to show them that we believe in them.”

Madison County Sheriff Jason Barnes and Madison County Attorney Matt Schultz are requesting their county’s board of supervisors pass the Iowa Firearms Coalition as well, according to a statement July 15 on the Madison County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.

“I am a gun owner and I believe that it is important to send a strong message to the citizens of Madison County that their chief law enforcement officials support their right to bear arms,” County Attorney Matt Schultz said.

As of June 20, nearly 2,000 (61%) counties across the country are Second Amendment sanctuaries, according to

Iowa ended its requirement of all citizens to have a permit to acquire or permit to carry to purchase handguns from federally licensed firearms dealers on July 1.

Voters will have a chance this November to vote on whether the Iowa Constitution include the right to keep and bear arms and “any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.” The 88th General Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 18, the first version of the proposed amendment, on March 13, 2019, which was published in eight newspapers in fall 2020.