FORT MYERS, Fla. — Making Southwest Florida a sanctuary, for gun rights, that's what three candidates running for public office are trying to do for Lee County.
The candidates tell Fox 4 if they're elected, they will protect the second amendment, but local activists say that's unnecessary.
Candidates like Jim Leavens who's hoping to the next Sheriff of Lee County, said making the county a sanctuary will protect gun owners, but an activist says that will make Southwest Florida a target on the map for gun violence.
Dan Severson, candidate for Congress, met candidates Jim Leavens and Michael Dreikorn at Leavens' gun range Tuesday to discuss passing a 2nd amendment sanctuary resolution, if they're elected, making the county exempt from federal gun reform.
But activist Mary Sheehan with Pine Island Roar disagrees.
She read an excerpt from a poem, explaining gun rights are already protected by the second amendment and says sanctuary status opens the door for more mass shootings like the Parkland, Florida shooting that killed 17 people last year.
Sheehan raised concerns about the changes that come with sanctuary status, like blocking the red flag law, which allows courts to temporarily remove guns from someone who may cause danger to others or themselves.
She said that law keeps guns out of the wrong hands. Dreikorn said he doesn't think someone should lose their guns based on accusations.
But Sheehan said all she can think of is the lives lost.