"Questioning the objectivity of the University's research on guns is a distraction from the hard evidence that opponents of stronger gun laws would prefer to ignore," Webster wrote. "Some gun laws do make us safer."

Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti said she respects the councilmen's strong opinions but is concerned the resolution just came up this evening and wondered what the rush was to introduce it, "given the very …emotional, very difficult, very complex nature of this issue in totality."

She also questioned the goal of the resolution, to which Woods replied other counties are working on similar bills, saying they do not agree with the state bill.

"If enough counties do agree, the hope across the state is the state will look at it again and say, 'Maybe we did overstep our grounds,'" Woods said. "I feel it's important for all of us that we stand up for our rights."

Guthrie replied he and Woods had been discussing the issue all day long and also had good timing with Cecil County's resolution.

Cecil urged Harford to join on the resolution, he said.

"How far are we going to let the state go?" Guthrie asked.

Council President Billy Boniface said he discussed with the attorney and pointed out the resolution is non-binding and is the opinion of the council.

Woods said he heard from a number of people who wanted a resolution like this because they felt their rights were being violated.

Lisanti voted against the resolution, saying it is "below us" to jump on a "bandwagon" issue at the last minute "to grab a headline, frankly." She also said it was "a very serious charge" to accuse legislators of violating the Constitution based only on a personal, not a legal opinion, to which Guthrie replied that "legislators are not God."

Boniface said the language in the Cecil resolution was "a little inflammatory, at best" and thought Harford found a good compromise.

He added it is "ludicrous" to let a citizen walk out of a gun store without any training and thinks more safety controls are needed to prevent, for example, children being accidentally killed by a parent's gun in the house.

One resident, Gary Johnson, of Kingsville, suggested the purpose of the bill is "vigilance," as proposed by Thomas Jefferson.

He also said the state act violates the second, fourth, ninth, 10th and 14th amendments and suggested the council refuse to enforce the bill in Harford County and threaten to arrest any state agent who tries to enforce it.

"Locally, our local officials have become our last line of defense against perverted and overreaching government," he told the council. "When you see our rights being abused, that's the time to act."

"This pretended legislation violates the clear wording of the Constitution," Johnson said.