As the prospect of new, draconian gun control continues to loom, the Second Amendment sanctuary movement continues to grow. Recently, ahead of the new Democratic legislature’s immanent takeover in Richmond next year, counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia have started declaring themselves sanctuaries for Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
After the results of November’s off-year election flipped control of both chambers of the state legislature to Democrats, Governor Ralph Northam announced that his party was already “working on” a plan to attack citizens’ gun rights in the commonwealth. As of earlier this week, legislators had already started to pre-file gun control legislation for the upcoming session, including a ban on so-called “assault firearms.” The Virginian-Pilot outlines eight bills that Democrats are likely to pass when they take control.
But despite the election results, some of the commonwealth’s residents still care about keeping their Second Amendment rights intact. So far, Giles, Dinwiddie, Appomattox, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte, Patrick, and Pittsylvania counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, with other county governments also considering doing the same.
“We have rights to bear arms. Point blank,” said Dinwiddie Supervisor William Chavis in a report at WWBT-TV. “And our county, we have a lot of hunters, lots of sportsmen that like to sport shoot.”
“Counties are saying, ‘Look, we are not going to enforce any unconstitutional gun laws in our jurisdiction,'” Virginia Citizens Defense League president Phil Van Cleave explained to WRC-TV. “A sheriff is a constitutional officer, however, he can take the lead of the county if he wishes and say, ‘We’re not enforcing any of this stuff.’ And some sheriffs are going to do that.”
The Second Amendment sanctuary movement has already made headlines out west after local officials in states including New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and Washington made it clear that they wouldn’t assist in the infringement of their citizens’ gun rights. It’s also been met with some pushback from national gun control groups.
Outside the Old Dominion, the movement is also coming to other states. Lake County, Florida, commissioners voted earlier this month to bar local law enforcement from enforcing federal gun restrictions. Florence County, Wisconsin, recently joined the sanctuary movement in opposition to a proposed “red flag” confiscation law in the state capital. Sullivan County, Tennessee, also made a sanctuary declaration recently to send a message to state legislators in Nashville.