West Milford becomes a sanctuary city – for gun owners

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West Milford recently passed a resolution to become a sanctuary city – for gun owners that is.

In a unanimously passed resolution, council members of West Milford Township said that they opposed new gun control legislation recently passed by the Murphy administration, particularly the “red flag laws.”

“I think society needs to wake up. This helps create awareness,” says West Milford Councilman Lou Signorino.

Signorino was the councilman who introduced the resolution. He is a gun owner and says that he fears that people are leaving New Jersey due to its strict gun laws. He says he fears further restrictions.

Within the resolution, there's a mention of concealed weapons. Even though this is illegal in New Jersey, it says. "Concealed carry of firearms reduces violent crime, and those benefiting most from firearms in self-defense are women, the elderly and the disabled."

The Republican says that he supports the right to carry a concealed weapon.

"If you have a community well-armed, certainly that is a great deterrent,” the councilman says. "The predatorial aspect of humanity doesn't come out as much when you know that you have that equalizer that's out there."

RELATED: Law allowing removal of guns from those deemed a danger takes effect Sunday 

The resolution also mentions gun safety and “red flag laws,” saying that these laws “have nothing to do with teaching or promoting the safe and lawful use of firearms."

New Jersey’s “red flag laws” allow police – at a family member’s request and with a judge’s approval – to take away someone’s guns if they are determined to be a risk to themselves or others.

West Milford resident Laurie Evanchick has spoken out against the resolution.

"The way it's written now, it can be very inflammatory. It has a lot of questions,” she says.

Evanchick’s family owns guns, but she asks why the town would defy future laws that could help it.

“Why bring us into the spotlight without it being well-thought-out. What does the town expect to gain from it?” she asks. “What benefit is it to us?”

The resolution is not an ordinance. It runs out at the end of the year and it would need to be voted on again in 2020.

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