AP Photo/Steven Senne
As expected, supervisors in Pittsylvania County unanimously endorsed a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution on Tuesday night, but the county in southern Virginia wasn’t the only one in the state to approve the measure. Lee County, in the far western part of the state, also endorsed the resolutions in votes on Tuesday evening, and in Franklin County, supervisors expressed their support for a resolution and made plans for a vote in the next few weeks.
In Pittsylvania County, both supervisors and the crowd of residents were strongly in support of the resolution.
After a discussion among board members during a work session and spirited input from 10 residents during the public comment part of the business meeting, the board unanimously voted to designate the county a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
When the vote carried unanimously, nearly the entire audience of nearly 150 stood up with cheers and applause.
Mark Matthews, a retired firefighter and sheriff’s deputy, expressed his support for the resolution, saying “we are at war for our values.”
“It is time to stand up to tyrants who want to transform America into something that it wasn’t meant to be,” he said.
In addition, the county sheriff also backed the resolution, as did the local Commonwealth’s Attorney, who told the audience he was speaking as a private citizen, not in his role as the chief prosecutor for the county.
In the westernmost county in the state, meanwhile, supervisors also voted in support of the Second Amendment. The resolution was brought forth by Lee County supervisor D.D. Leonard, and besides the almost complete support of the board (the measure passed by a 4-1 vote), the measure was also backed up by the local sheriff.
On Monday, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office made a Facebook post assuring residents that the department will stand up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.
During a phone call with News 5, Sheriff Parsons reiterated the statement, saying the he would not support the seizure of weapons in any way, whether it be financial support or cooperation with state and federal officials. Leonard agreed with Parsons.
“I would like to see all the adjoining counties come together and join us in trying to protect our rights, and especially our second amendment right,” said Leonard.
Franklin County doesn’t adjoin Lee County, but it’s now a part of the same Second Amendment sanctuary movement, at least unofficially. While a formal vote wasn’t held on Tuesday evening, after hundreds of residents showed up to support the resolution, supervisors assured those in attendance that they back the right to keep and bear arms.
While the board didn’t vote on the issue Tuesday, they did make their support clear, as nearly every board member gave the crowd a standing ovation.
“I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and that’s what I intend to do. I just want you all to know that,” said Mike Carter, Franklin County Board of Supervisors member.
“We don’t know what’s going to come out of this but just know that we’re behind you and we’re with you,” said Timothy Tatum, Franklin County Board of Supervisors member.
The board directed county staff to start drafting a resolution that will hopefully come up for a vote in December.
In Amherst County, also in central Virginia, hundreds turned out to show their support for the Second Amendment as well, and while no vote was taken, it sounds like supervisors are on board.
[Board chairman Jimmy] Ayers, a former Amherst County sheriff, thanked the crowd for its strong show of support and assured residents the board would act to protect gun rights. Sheriff E.W. Viar, who did not attend the meeting, said at an Oct. 23 community forum prior to his recent reelection he fully supports Second Amendment rights of citizens.
Ayers said he feels stricter gun laws are not going to change the pattern of violence and if a person wants to commit a crime bad enough he or she will find a way to get that gun.
“Infringement on our Second Amendment rights only impacts the citizens who are here,” Ayers said.
Supervisor Claudia Tucker commended the large crowd for coming forward to make their voices heard.
“Just give them the right subject, they will get involved,” Tucker said of residents’ engaging in the public process.
WSLS-TV also reported that Patrick County passed a Second Amendment resolution on Monday night along with Appomattox County. That makes at least six counties in the state to adopt the resolution, and there are at least a dozen other counties that are currently drafting resolutions of their own or studying the issue.
Coming up on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co., we’re going to dive into the movement that’s sweeping like a prairie fire across Virginia and the nation. Effingham County, Illinois Commissioner David Campbell, who was one of the first in the country to propose a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution will join me, along with Pittysylvania County Supervisor Ronald Scearce, and Cibola County, New Mexico Sheriff Tony Mace.
I’ll also be joining talk show host Michael Berry on his show to talk about the Second Amendment sanctuary movement in Texas, where there are now a dozen counties that have declared themselves a safe space for the right to keep and bear arms. You’ll be able to find the segment here once it’s been posted.