Brian Coleman, commissioners at meeting

Citrus County Commissioner Brian Coleman, center, chairs his first meeting on Nov. 19. Flanking him, from left, are Commissioners Jimmie T. Smith, Scott Carnahan, Ron Kitchen Jr. and Jeff Kinnard.

It may have no more value than the paper it’s printed on, but Citrus County commissioners on Tuesday joined a growing trend of communities making it known they support the right to bear arms.

Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt a resolution naming Citrus a Second Amendment Sanctuary, which preserves “for the people of, on and in Citrus County, their rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.”

The resolution “...declares our rights, our freedom and our liberty…”

All five commissioners said they own firearms and are resistant to suggestions among some in Washington, D.C., to further restrict gun laws.

“They start getting one gun, they’re going to get the next gun,” Commissioner Scott Carnahan said.

The phrase "Second Amendment sanctuary" is an umbrella term used to describe a jurisdiction that passes a resolution declaring that restrictive gun control laws another legislative body passes are unconstitutional and will not be enforced there.

Lake County was the first in Florida to pass the resolution. Wakulla, Suwanee and Marion counties followed suit.

Residents who attended Tuesday’s board meeting encouraged commissioners to reject the amendment, which Carnahan proposed, citing firearm statistics that show Citrus has a higher per capita rate of gun-related deaths than Florida and the U.S.

“Another huge black eye for Citrus County,” Rich Nilles, of Inverness, said. “If you want to break federal gun laws, come to Citrus County. It’s OK with us.”

Commissioners didn’t see it that way at all. The resolution doesn’t give anyone the right to ignore laws, but instead says the county opposes restrictions that violate the Constitution.

“All we’re saying is we believe the Second Amendment is the right of all citizens,” Commissioner Ron Kitchen Jr. said.

Kitchen said he’s had a concealed carry permit for many years. “I don’t think I’ve killed anyone yet,” he said. “It’s purely for self defense.”

Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith said the resolution sends a message.

“It’s not saying we won’t obey rules,” he said. “Some people are reading into this things that are not fact.”

Board Chairman Brian Coleman said while the resolution is the board's formal statement of support for the Second Amendment, it holds no legal authority.


Contact Chronicle reporter Mike Wright at 352-563-3228 or

(33) comments


I'm a little late but wanted to add my 2 cents. Consider this wording from the article carefully.

'The phrase "Second Amendment sanctuary" is an umbrella term used to describe a jurisdiction that passes a resolution declaring that restrictive gun control laws another legislative body passes are unconstitutional and will not be enforced there.'

Does this mean that in Citrus County they will not prosecute for violations of the state and federal gun laws? [scared] [lol]


IMO the 2nd amendment is an ancient law. It shouldn't have been for late 20th century and 21st century and beyond. Making Citrus county a 2nd amendment sanctuary is extremely foolish and it's asking lots of trouble. I'm looking forward to vote the yahoos out. I'm a neutral and a realist person. We need level-headed people who listens to the people. So far this county and the whole country have gone nuts.


Nothing wrong with owning an arsenal and having your rights. It's the petty party politics that irritates me. It's the catering to the gun lobby. All these people want is to get re-elected over and over and over with partisan politics, that help no one but themselves. I was an NRA member for 15 yrs until they made it a political corrupt institution. Leave your party cronyism at home. Gun owners don't need to be told what we already have.


sanctuary city for crazies with guns. What could go wrong? I'm a proud gun owner, but this is what you get with an all party republican county, foolishness. You have alot of democrats here and the tourist and others that make this county viable are not republicans.


Brilliant! So this sanctuary city for crazy people with guns? Nice

Party affiliation has nothing to do with second amendment rights.

I've seen people selling guns on the side of the road without background checks. This is looking for trouble


5 county commissioners have declared that we're a community making it known that we support a right to bear arms? Gee, who are they to speak for me or any other member of this community? Nobody asked my opinion, and I am a member. Without a vote by the members of the community, they have no right to declare what our community supports.


So does this mean that it's O.K for these idiots from outside Citrus County (Tampa, St.Pete., etc to come up here on weekends and shoot off their shotguns on our nature trails scaring the heck out of just trying to enjoy our homes? These commissioners are truly sending the wrong message.


Ok!! Great News!!!! I'm sure these Trumpster commissioners have already laid out their plans for the "Well-Regulated Militia" which is also required by the Second Amendment (although that part gets COMPLETELY overlooked by the gun-nut lobby).

I have no problem with guns- but NOBODY needs a semi-automatic or fully automatic weapon unless you are a soldier.


The phrase "Second Amendment sanctuary" is an umbrella term used to describe a jurisdiction that passes a resolution declaring that restrictive gun control laws another legislative body passes are unconstitutional and will not be enforced there.

Therefore if Congress bans ownership of a machine gun, or a bazooka, or a other weapon used in warfare...if you live in Citrus County you can own and use whatever weapon you want regardless of Federal laws. I would love to see which commissioner is willing to test their sanctuary county decision by getting their hands on a Federally controlled weapon.

CitrusCo Citizen

If that's the case, then shouldn't the "Feds" be alerted regarding "2nd Amendment Sanctuary Cities" and start inspecting the residents' homes and weapons collections, starting with the Commissioners? I'd feel safer if all of us were inspected in Citrus County. Perhaps that should be added to the Census so that people could be jailed for perjury if they lie about their gun collections.

CitrusCo Citizen

You're right, Leigh. The Commissioners' next step is to create a well-regulated militia to protect Citrus County from "invaders" from the Big City, other counties, and worse, other states. Next, they'll probably want to build a Wall around Citrus County and have armed guards with AK-47s, inspecting everyone who enters. After all they have to make sure we're protected from "The Bad Guys."


You don't know your guns do you? You only go by what you are told don't you? You are right about one thing, nobody needs a fully automatic.............. but you need to do your homework on what a semi-automatic gun is. It is practically ever gun in America.............. emphasis on the word practically before you respond. Then you are assuming they are Trumpsters. What, everyone who approves guns is a Trump fan..... Now that is funny...... Seeing how you really don't know guns, you must have looked up the second amendment and seen those first few words...... you really shouldn't comment on something you clearly know nothing about... Oh and I will say your a typical left........


Jaymiea- every one of those Commissioners is a Donald Trump supporter- they have all said so!!! And I would put my gun knowledge up against yours any day, especially someone who apparently can't read what is written! I didn't say anything about those who like guns being Trump fans- I was talking about the Commissioners, period. I own guns, and I'm most decidedly NOT a Trump fan. I don't need someone like you telling me what I should and shouldn't comment on- but I guess that's what you typical fascist right-wingers do!


In other words, the commissioners wasted precious time on this utterly meaningless proclamation. Don't they have county business they could attend to instead of showboating about nonexistent threats that lie outside their jurisdiction anyway? If not, why on earth are we paying them? I can't wait to vote against every single one of these clowns.


Citrus county commissioners are (at least in theory) non-partisan and (until now) their votes have not sided with one faction versus another. Sadly, those days are now behind us and we can look forward to another chapter of growing authoritarian dogma.


Perhaps I misunderstand you, but how, exactly, is reaffirming our natural rights that are protected by the Constitution from Authoritarian regime(s) somehow "authoritarian?


This is great, the democrat communist falling apart. They are making the same argument conservatives have made " people making rules about guns while protected by people with guns" , and the best is the liberal socialist sanctuary cities, which protect criminals and not the US constitution. Dont like this county? There are roads out in every direction, try the ones heading west


You're too funny, whoever. We will all stay and fight for our country, because that is what real Americans do. We will fight with words, we will fight with guns. The words we will aim at our fellow residents, guns we will aim at our enemies. Since you apparently consider everyone your enemy we know what you will do. Perhaps you would be happier living somewhere that guns are used on a daily basis, Syria for example.


You leave first, since you don't have the fist clue what liberty and freedom really mean.


AR-15's under the Christmas Tree this year for everybody!!!!! Welcome to Citrus County.


I hate to consider that this might be what most people in our county dream of on Christmas eve. Sadly, I think this might be true.

Miuke Nelson

"They start getting one gun, they’re going to get the next gun,” Commissioner Scott Carnahan said. Paranoia runs deep. Into your heart it will creep. Welcome to Citrus County


Such a redneck county.


"Stay in your lane bro". Commissioners are now practicing outside their scope. Hold on....they do that all the time and with every issue facing Cotrus County. Carnahan, Kitchens, Coleman, and Kinard need to go. Why do they even continue to be in the news?


Thank god for people who respect the Constitution as it is written.




Thank you, LarryG. That is very kind of you to say about the liberals. We do work very hard at respecting the Constitution. We would be happy to give you some pointers if you so desire.

CitrusCo Citizen

Thanks for the great evening laugh--hilarious!! Ron Kitchen doesn't even know if he's killed anyone yet!! And those blown-up photos--of the Citrus County Board of Buffoons! LOLOLOL! I'm sending this to the off to the WAPO --now that the whole nation is already well acquainted with Citrus County--they get to know us even better! Somebody, please write, "The Ballad of Citrus County"!! (I can hear the banjos already!)


Your article mixes us "constitutional" with "unconstitutional." Your definition of a Sanctuary County states the county will not enforce another jurisdiction's law that is unconstitutional. This wording is wrong. Another jurisdiction's law is constitutional until it is challenged and struck down by a court ruling. No one is required to enforce laws that have been ruled "unconstitutional" by a court. But, until a court makes such a ruling, the law is constitutional.

Teddi Rusnak

I hope citizens absorbed the irony of these commissioners declaring - as this resolution does - that they can choose which laws they will follow and which they won’t. And all from the safety of a workplace guarded by county deputies, while citizens who enter to meet with them must submit to being screened electronically. I wonder if one of those citizens appeared with a concealed weapon - albeit permitted - if s/he would be allowed to proceed, gun in tow? After all, who knows what evil-doers lurk in the courthouse? and isn’t the best defense against an evildoer with a gun, a good guy with a gun? Or so the NRA keeps saying. I just would rather not be in the crossfire when a deputy is trying to figure out if you are the good guy with a gun or the bad guy.

CitrusCo Citizen

So does this mean that our illustrious Board of County Clowns has decided that the 2nd Amendment "trumps" the 1st Amendment of the Constitution? We're not allowed to have access to and read the "real" news because we reminded that if we do, the BOCC will disapprove and they are well-armed? That human beings, men, women, and children with brown skins are not allowed sanctuary, but metal objects turned into lethal weapons and the dudes that use them ARE given "sanctuary"? What's next, folks, in Citrus County? Stay tuned!


Do you really see this as racist ? Kinda wearing that out. Also, no one is stopping you from buying the NYT.

Miuke Nelson

I think you intentionally missed the point. As with Trump, it is a pattern of ignoring the parts of the constitution you don't like.

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