AP Photo/Michael Hill
Earlier this week, Lake County, Florida commissioners unanimously approved a resolution declaring the county a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.” Now, officials in two other counties are introducing similar resolutions. Wakulla County Commissioner Ralph Thomas brought his measure to county officials on Wednesday, and on Thursday, Sarasota County Comissioner Christian Ziegler did the same.
Ziegler said he was inspired by recent actions by Lake and Wakulla commissioners.
Ziegler’s resolution, like many of Second Amendment sanctuary proposals, pulls language from the Constitution, the Florida Constitution and several landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Once such case, District of Columbia v. Heller, affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not connected in any way to service in the militia.
Ziegler believes that gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment should be “more proactive in our support of the Second Amendment.”
“People don’t speak up in support on the issue unless we’re on the defense,” Ziegler said. “This is our opportunity to go on the offense to show our support.”
It’s kind of fascinating to see the push for these resolutions in Florida, which has a pro-gun governor but also saw measures like “red flag” legislation adopted by lawmakers after the murders at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018. I’m not so sure about the “Second Amendment Sanctuary” resolutions being an offensive, rather than a defensive measure, however. If Ziegler really wants to be pro-active in supporting the right to keep and bear arms, perhaps the commission could vote on a resolution in favor of constitutional carry in addition to the resolution declaring Sarasota County a sanctuary for the Second Amendment.
Meanwhile in Virginia, where anti-gun lawmakers seized control of the statehouse in this week’s elections, the Virginia Citizens Defense League is hoping that counties and towns will soon adopt Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions in advance of the 2020 legislative session, which promises gun and magazine bans, as well as other attempts to restrict the right to keep and bear arms.
“Of the four possible results, yesterday’s elections provided the worst scenario for gun owners in Virginia and one that VCDL has been warning about for almost a year,” the group wrote, blaming the results not on public support for “gun control” but on the court-ordered redistricting that impacted some of the House races.
“While we don’t have a firewall to stop bad gun bills from becoming law, we are not helpless,” the group vowed. “We can push for more Second Amendment Sanctuary Localities, like Carroll County, which will refuse to enforce unconstitutional gun laws. Sheriffs and other law enforcement have no obligation to enforce unconstitutional laws, either.”
I can tell you that there are certainly conversations taking part at the county level, because I’ve been a part of a few of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next couple of weeks we do see several counties in the state introduce and adopt Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions, though I don’t know what the specific language will look like or if any of the resolutions will specifically reference any of Northam’s proposals.
I do know that the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement isn’t going away any time soon, and anti-gun advocates are going to have to address the concerns of gun owners or prepare for selective enforcement and massive noncompliance of their beloved gun control laws.