Virginia Governor Ralph Northam may have hoped to take the wind out of the sails of the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement by announcing that his proposed gun ban would come with a “grandfather clause” allowing existing owners of modern sporting rifles to register them with the state, but he was sadly mistaken if he really thought that would be enough to mollify supporters of the right to keep and bear arms.
Instead of sparse crowds, Tuesday’s board of supervisors meetings across the state featured huge crowds and a lot of unanimous votes in cities and counties from the Tidewater to the Appalachian Mountains. Here’s the list of all the communities that passed a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution on Tuesday, courtesy of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
- Bath County
- Big Stone Gap
- Caroline County
- Cumberland County
- Floyd County
- Greene County
- Henrico County
- James City County
- Nelson County
- Prince George County
- Prince William County
- Smyth County
- Spotsylvania County
- Warren County
It’s really encouraging to see the resolution pass in Henrico and Spotsylvania counties, as well as the city of Chesapeake in southern Virginia. The massive turnout in support for the resolution in Prince William County is also worth noting, though the incoming board of supervisors has promised to repeal the resolution in January.
I was in Cumberland County for Tuesday night’s vote, and as you can see in the picture above, the board of supervisors meeting was standing room only, despite being moved from its original location to a much bigger space in the county’s elementary school. There are only about 10,000 residents in Cumberland County, and it felt like half of the county was in attendance, though the number was probably closer to 700.
The VCDL reports more than a thousand attendees for meetings in Spotsylvania, Smyth County, Warren County, Chesapeake, and Prince William County, and I suspect that we’ll see at least a thousand people for Wednesday’s board of supervisors meeting in Chesterfield County, a Richmond suburb that’s home to a lot of Second Amendment supporters.
There are several other board meetings and votes scheduled for Wednesday, including a couple of votes that may not go our way in Loudon County (a northern Virginia D.C. suburb that’s been steadily trending anti-gun for a couple of election cycles) and the city of Hampton in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area.
We also lost a couple of votes on Tuesday night, unfortunately. While Spotsylvania County approved a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution, the city of Fredericksburg in Spotsylvania rejected a resolution of its own, and in central Virginia, the Lynchburg City Council narrowly rejected the measure in a 4-3 vote, though the city council is bringing the measure back next month with a public hearing scheduled for January 14th.
Even with those few setbacks, the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement continues to amaze me, and it’s absolutely inspiring to attend one of these meetings. In fact, I’ll be attending my eighth board of supervisors meeting this evening in Fluvanna County, which was supposed to vote on a resolution last week, but is holding a special meeting tonight at the county’s largest elementary school so the hundreds of folks expected can actually find a seat, which was impossible last week in the county’s small meeting space reserved for supervisors meetings.
One other vote from Tuesday night is worth noting. Nelson County, Virginia approved its resolution with the support of Rep. Denver Riggleman, the congressman for Virginia’s 5th District (which includes Nelson County). To the best of my knowledge, Rep. Riggleman is the first member of Virginia’s congressional delegation to come out in support of the movement.
“I urge the Board of Supervisors to support this resolution- the Second Amendment is a Constitutional Right for all Americans that should not be infringed,” said Congressman Riggleman. “I stand with all those who are exercising their First Amendment right to free speech on this important issue.”
I’d love to hear Rep. Riggleman say that he doesn’t plan on complying with any gun control laws that infringe on the Second Amendment, but this is a good start and I’m glad to see his statement of support.
We’ll have much more on the explosive growth of the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement this afternoon and evening here on the site, and you can follow me on Twitter for live reports from Fluvanna County on Wednesday evening.