AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File
It’s another busy week ahead of us in terms of Second Amendment Sanctuary votes in the state of Virginia. I’ll be at the Buckingham County board of supervisors meeting Monday evening expressing my support for the movement, and I’m curious to see how many folks show up in the rural county in central Virginia, where even local convenience stores are getting the word out about the meeting.
As thousands of Virginians pack their local supervisors meetings, the National Rifle Association has weighed in on the movement with a statement on the organization’s website, and the Second Amendment group giving Second Amendment sanctuaries a thumbs up.
As the Nation’s oldest civil rights organization, we recognize civic engagement as a virtue not a vice. Liberty is reliant upon the participation of free people, and this includes the vast number of citizens and communities who are lawfully exercising their rights under the First Amendment to defend their freedoms under the Second. It is the tyrannical nature of politicians that triggers sanctuary, not the other way around. The NRA has steadfastly defended freedom for nearly 150 years, and we have no intention of suppressing virtuous voices against governmental oppression—censoring is what our opponents do.
The NRA is absolutely correct that the sanctuary movement in Virginia and elsewhere is a response to anti-gun politicians and their gun-grabbing agenda. The movement began in Illinois as a response to gun control legislation, and spread to Washington State and New Mexico when anti-gun politicians began pushing universal background check bills, red flag laws, and other restrictions.
Here in Virginia, there are a number of bills already filed for the legislative session beginning in January that have gun owners concerned, including SB 16, a sweeping bill that bans the continued possession of legally owned firearms deemed to be “assault weapons”, and SB 22, a universal background check bill that also raises the age to purchase a firearm and criminalizes parents who allow their children under the age of 18 to have unsupervised access to a firearm, even for hunting or self-defense.
Other states such as Texas and Florida have also seen the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement take root in their states, despite pro-Second Amendment lawmakers in control of state government. In those cases, the moves appear to be a response to the field of Democrats running for president, all of whom are campaigning on the promise of gun bans, licensing, registration, and a host of other infringements on the right to keep and bear arms. Those votes might be more proactive than the ones in Virginia, but they’re still a response to anti-gun politicians, not the other way around.
According to the Virginia Citizens Defense League, we should see at least eight more counties vote on their own Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions on Monday. If all eight approve the resolutions, more than half of the state’s 95 counties will have officially signed on. Right now, according to VCDL, we’re up to 46 counties and towns that have adopted the resolution, with several dozen meetings and votes scheduled over the next two weeks.
I’ll have a full report from Buckingham County tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on what time the meeting concludes, and I’ll try to update throughout the evening on my Twitter page if you want to follow along in real time this evening.