Virginia’s Second Amendment Sanctuary push that began in late 2019 garnered national news coverage, because of the speed with which dozens of counties adopted the measures, the massive turnout at local government meetings in support of the resolutions, and the anti-gun agenda from Democrats in the state that spurred the movement into existence in the first place.
The continued expansion of Second Amendment Sanctuaries in other states hasn’t received nearly as much attention, even though we’re seeing some eye-popping results from around the country. In North Carolina, for instance, more than half of the counties in the state have now approved Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions of their own, to little fanfare or recognition from national news outlets.
One exception is Public News Service, which wrote about the trend, but for some reason only interviewed opponents of the movement for its story.
Becky Ceartas, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence – a group tracking the number of Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions passed in the state – says it appears that counties are taking this step in response to gun legislation being introduced in neighboring states.
“There was only a handful of these counties before January,” says Ceartas. “We’ve seen the majority of these counties pass their resolutions mainly looking towards Virginia and what their General Assembly was about to do in regard to gun safety laws.”
Virginia lawmakers are considering bills to add background checks for private and gun-show sales, and to allow judges to temporarily confiscate guns if a person is found to be an extreme risk.
It may be that anti-gun Democrats in Virginia jump-started the movement in North Carolina, but the locals who are showing up in places like Martin County are concerned that their rights could be infringed by lawmakers in their own state, as WNCT-TV recently reported.
Martin County is joining the growing list of counties in the East including Beaufort, Jones, Pamlico, Wayne, and Craven counties.
“It stated a request to the legislature not to pass restrictions on second amendment rights,” said David Bone, Martin County manager.
Bone said people are concerned about the gun control measures in Virginia where the Governor proposed a bill to ban assault weapons.
“Hunting and gun rights are very important to our citizens. There are a lot of gun owners in Martin County so of course, it’s a very important issue to them,” said Bone. “We are so close to the Virginia line there is some concern that that legislation may bleed over into North Carolina.”
Commissioner Ronnie Smith said many citizens spoke in favor of the resolution. He said the commission’s resolution received overwhelming community support.
“Once we approved it, we had a lot of people there, they applauded. So that sends a message to me that we were doing what they would love for us to do,” said Smith.
The same support was on display in Brunswick County, North Carolina this week as commissioners unanimously approved a resolution declaring the community a “constitutional protected rights county”.
The proposed resolution reaffirms the board of commissioners’ support of the right citizens have to legally possess and use firearms. It also “further pledges to oppose, within the legal means, efforts to unconstitutionally restrict such Second Amendment Rights.”
“It just reinforces our support the constitution and telling Brunswick County citizens that they have a right to the second amendment. It’s the law of our land and we will uphold the law of the constitution because we took that oath,” said Brunswick County commissioner Pat Sykes.
Many county residents showed up to the meeting in full support of the resolution.
Debra Jensen spent most of her life in New York and says she actually moved to North Carolina so her second amendment right could be protected.
“I don’t feel like anybody should have to tell me how to be able to protect myself, my family and my friends. I used to be afraid of guns and then I learned how to use them safely. I have a military family and I’m in support of our rights given to us by our forefathers,” Jensen said.
Maybe it’s better that the national news media has stayed largely away from covering the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement in North Carolina. It seems like the local TV stations are doing a much better job of reporting what’s taking place than the few national outlets like Public News Service that have run stories on what’s happening in counties across the state.