AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
The Second Amendment Sanctuary movement is quickly taking off across the Virginia, in a sign that the new anti-gun legislative majority will face major pushback to the gun control laws that are already being filed. Last week, we saw resolutions pass in Charlotte and Campbell counties, but that was just the beginning.
On Monday evening, not far from the Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. studios in nearby Farmville, Appomattox County approved their own resolution, and now supervisors in Pittsylvania County are set to approve a similar resolution at their business meeting Tuesday night.
A packed crowd was in attendance as the Appomattox County supervisors voted in favor of their resolution, which demonstrates the grassroots power of the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement. The resolutions are largely being spread through word of mouth and local-level activism from members of groups like the Virginia Citizens Defense League, and the response has been nothing short of amazing. County supervisor meetings are generally pretty poorly attended affairs, but that wasn’t the case Monday night.
The Appomattox County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the resolution to the applause of the more than 100 people who had crammed into the board room Monday night. Every seat was filled, and dozens stood against the walls of the room to show support for the resolution.
Appomattox residents showed up in full force, and some people even came from counties away. For many it was their first time at a board of supervisors meeting, spurred to action by the threat of the newly elected Democratic majority in the statehouse.
“This is the silent majority,” said Troy Carter, gesturing at the crowd filling the hall outside the board room doors. “And they’re waking up.”
Carter is a resident of Amelia County, whose board plans to discuss the topic in the coming days, according to Carter.
In Appomattox County, it wasn’t just the supervisors showing their support for the resolution. The county attorney is on board as well.
Though the resolution is not legally binding, it does convey the county’s “intent that public funds of the County not be used to restrict Second Amendment rights” and their intention “to oppose unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms through such legal means as may be expedient, including without limitation, court action.”
Appomattox County Attorney Tom Lacheney said the resolution serves to reaffirm the board’s support and belief in its constitutional right.
“There is nothing the governor can do about our resolution,” Lacheney said. “Whether the governor goes about trying to usurp rights, that is an issue that I’m sure we will have to face down the road.”
Meanwhile, the sponsor of the resolution in Pittsylvania County, Supervisor Ronald Scearce, tells Bearing Arms that he expects unanimous support for declaring the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary, and only wishes that the vote would have come sooner.
“Personally, I wanted to push this at the beginning of the year,” Scearce explained. “But because the supervisors felt the General Assembly was still protecting us on our gun rights at the time I dropped it. Now they’ve already got some legislation on the books for January; they’re already coming after 30-round magazines and the dreaded ‘weapons of war’, and I’m concerned they going to turn citizens into felons overnight.”
Scearce says he hopes the resolution does a couple of things. First, he wants to send a message to lawmakers in Richmond that counties are going to push back in the face of unconstitutional gun laws. It may mean not spending any county funds to enforce new gun legislation, and it may mean pursuing legal challenges to the new laws as well. The supervisor says there’ve already been discussions about proposed “red flag” laws, and there’s been push back from law enforcement about sending deputies out to confiscate firearms once a red flag order’s been granted.
Scearce believes that instead of going after legal gun owners, lawmakers should instead be addressing the gang violence that drives most of the homicides (as well as the far larger number of drug overdose deaths in the state) through proven programs like Project Exile and Project Safe Neighborhoods. The new anti-gun legislative majority doesn’t seem interested in targeting violent criminals to reduce violent crime, unfortunately. Instead, they seem intent on trying to ban their way to safety, over the increasingly vocal objections of many local governments across the state.