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VILLAS – Lower Township Council passed a resolution Feb. 3, declaring the municipality a "Second Amendment/Lawful Gun Owner Sanctuary."

The declaration follows the Jan. 14 passage of a similar resolution by Cape May County freeholders (, and represents a pushback against stricter gun laws proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy and the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

During public comment, Cape May County Sheriff Robert Nolan addressed the council.

“This resolution supports the lawful gun owners of the community who enjoy the shooting sports. It is becoming harder and harder for families to participate in these activities,” Nolan said, declaring himself a member of the National Rifle Association and the Bayshore Sportsman’s Club, located in Villas.

Mayor Frank Sippel said several citizens had sent letters in support of the resolution, which passed unanimously.