Seven More Sanctuary Communities In Virginia After Monday Meetings

The Second Amendment Sanctuary surge is continuing in Virginia. I’ll have a big write up later today on what I saw in Louisa County Monday evening, where supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that opposes any new gun control laws in the state. The county was one of at least seven different communities in the state adopting resolutions on Monday evening, with nearly that many expected to approve resolutions on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

  • In Rappahannock County, supervisors approved the resolution by a 3-1 vote with a packed crowd of supporters in attendance, though the amendment was watered down slightly.
  • Hundreds of Second Amendment supporters showed up in Greensville County to back the resolution, which was approved 3-o with one supervisor abstaining.
  • The vote was 7-o in Russell County, where supervisors were also greeted to a packed house of residents and backers of the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution.
  • In Halifax County, supervisors had to move their meeting to a larger location to accommodate the crowd. About 400 people were on hand as the measure was approved.

The town of Exmore, Virginia, on the state’s Eastern Shore, also approved a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution, which may make it the first town in the state to do so.

Meanwhile, far western Virginia, Buchanan County commissioners not only approved a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution but an emergency ordinance as well. You can check out the meeting, including discussion of the ordinance, in the video below.

The ordinance approved in Buchanan County is based on a similar measure introduced in Greene County, Virginia a few days ago.

Greene County Republican Committee Chairman Ed Yensho told the board it’s not enough to pass a resolution. He said he wants the government also to pass the “Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance” the committee has submitted to the board for consideration, which would enshrine the local goverment’s ability to defend gun rights against state laws.

An ordinance would have more teeth than a simple resolution, but may also be more likely to draw a legal response from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who’s been bashing the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement in the press. In fact, the AG is expected to issue an official opinion attacking the movement after Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) in the state legislature asked him to weigh in.

In his letter, Jones stated that the legal precedent that would be set by allowing localities to ignore state law would be similar to the mindset that led to the Civil War.

Jones asked Herring to release an opinion ahead of the 2020 legislative session. He said that the absence of an opinion could affect the General Assembly’s ability to consider and pass gun safety laws.

Jones stated that the stance of the Attorney General is critical so lawmakers can make sure that any laws passed address and complies with the Attorney’s General opinion.

It’s odd that James didn’t feel the same when Governor Ralph Northam vetoed a bill that would have outlawed sanctuary cities in the state, requiring localities to follow federal immigration law.

“Police divisions across the commonwealth have a long tradition of engaging in community policing strategies, and many have determined that it is more important to develop a relationship with immigrant communities in order to keep safe all of those who live within the locality,” Northam said. “This legislation would strip localities of that autonomy.”

So, localities have autonomy on federal immigration law, but not when it comes to protecting the Second Amendment? I don’t see that argument swaying too many supporters of the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement in the state.

There are several more county supervisors’ meetings around the state tonight. I’m planning on attending the meeting in Amherst County, where a resolution is on the agenda. We’re now at 30 Second Amendment Sanctuary communities, and by the end of the day today, we could be close to 40. This movement is showing no signs of slowing down, despite (or maybe because of) the vocal opposition by anti-gun lawmakers and activists.