Syracuse becomes first Kansas city to adopt resolution




SYRACUSE — Syracuse is a western Kansas town where hunting is a way of life and the majority of the town's residents believe in the right to protect themselves and their families. For these and other reasons, the city of Syracuse became the first municipality in the state to adopt a resolution supporting the Second Amendment.

"There's lots of talk about it, from the local doughnut shop to the convenience store and bowling alley even, there's a lot of talk about the second amendment and what's going on in Washington, D.C., and that's what kind of prompted us to do this," Syracuse Mayor Joe Stephens said.

Resolution No. 2013-02 was approved by the Syracuse City Council March 11, after being introduced by Councilman Vance Keller.

Stephens said they had no idea that Syracuse was the first city in the Sunflower State to adopt such a resolution, but he hopes other towns will follow suit.

"We're hoping everything will just go northeast and it will go across the state," he said.

On Feb. 25, Seward County became the first Kansas county to adopt a resolution regarding the Second Amendment and Stephens said they used that resolution's language in drafting theirs.

"Our 10th Amendment right says the states have a right to govern themselves. In Kansas, we have a home rule that says the cities have a right to govern themselves and so that's what we're trying to do," he said.

He also said he chose not to be involved in drafting the resolution, because he also owns a local gun shop and is a concealed carry instructor and didn't want any conflicts of interest to interfere with the meaning of the resolution.

"I knew that if I was involved in it, it would take something away from the meaning of it, because that's what people would think, 'Well he owns the gun shop or he's a concealed carry instructor and that's the reason he's doing it,'" he said.

When asked if locals have been talking about the resolution at Q's Corner Daylight Donut shop on Main Street, owner Rebekah Platt said, "We're a doughnut shop. People come in here and try to solve the world's problems all the time."

Kathryn Phillips, a second-grade teacher at Syracuse Elementary School, said she is thankful for the resolution. As a teacher, she said she is very concerned about school safety, in particular.

"If you wanted to hurt this community, it's just like what has happened in other communities. If you wanted to devastate our community, (the school) is where you would go," she said, adding that she thinks the resolution is a very smart move for Syracuse.

Both Phillips and Stephens said that they haven't heard any negative feedback concerning the resolution, regardless of political party affiliation.

"Most people probably in general are very much in favor of it," Phillips said. "This really isn't a party issue. It affects everybody,"

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