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Iowa Counties Embrace Second Amendment Sanctuary Movement

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Second Amendment Sanctuary movement is still chugging along, and not just in state legislatures, which have approved 2A Sanctuary legislation in places like Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Tennessee this year. The 2A Sanctuary movement, after all, began at the county level, and it seems like every day there are more counties signing on. In fact, I generally don’t write about counties declaring themselves to be Second Amendment safe havens any more, because I’d be writing multiple stories each day.

I’m making an exception here, because Jasper and Hardin counties have become the first Iowa political subdivisions to adopt Second Amendment Sanctuary language, and it’s always worth pointing out when the movement reaches the borders of yet another state.

The Jasper County resolution says federal and state lawmakers cannot be solely trusted to protect people’s Second Amendment rights and that any legislation or order from a federal or state legislature or executive that infringes on constitutional gun rights “shall not be enforced by an individual employed by the Jasper County Sheriff’s office or any other employee of Jasper County.”

“Let’s hope it is never needed,” said Supervisor Doug Cupples.

Supervisor Brandon Talsma said the Second Amendment “has come under attack again and again and we wanted to make it clear that Jasper County will defend its citizens civil liberties.”

You love to see it. And as the Associated Press points out, there are now more than 1,200 counties across the country that have explicitly endorsed 2A Sanctuary language, while hundreds of other counties are now covered under statewide Second Amendment Sanctuary laws.

Opponents of the movement can’t seem to make up their mind about why they’re opposed; arguing both that the Sanctuary language is largely symbolic and meaningless, and also poses a grave threat to the rule of law.

“This is just a piece of political theater throwing red meat to a certain set of voters who you want to keep their attention so they vote because they’re the least likely group to vote,” Julie Duhn said. “Do any of you supervisors actually believe there will be legislation to take everybody’s guns? Its ludicrous.”

… A group advocating for stricter gun control said local politicians and law enforcement officials don’t get to decide which laws they enforce.

“Our leaders should be focusing on common sense gun safety protections that will keep our communities safe, instead of refusing to enforce public safety laws that actually make a difference,” said Traci Kennedy, chapter leader of the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action.

These measures may be red meat for pro-2A activists, but that doesn’t make them meaningless or unconstitutional. The 2A Sanctuary movement was inspired by the sanctuary city movement; which prevents local law enforcement from cooperating with ICE in enforcing immigration law. Those laws have repeatedly been upheld by the courts, and 2A Sanctuary laws are on the same solid legal ground. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that states and localities are under no obligation to enforce federal laws and regulations and cannot be coerced into doing so, and that would apply to enforcing new federal gun control laws as well.

As for refusing to enforce “common sense gun safety protections that will keep our communities safe,” which ones would those be, exactly? California has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation, and gun-related crime increased 31% last year. The truly common sense way to keep communities safe is to focus on violent criminals instead of trying to turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals through the establishment of new, non-violent, felony offenses. The “action” that gun control activists like Traci Kennedy are demanding would take us in the wrong direction, and frankly it’s because of activists like her that the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement continues to spread like a prairie fire.

Jul 31, 2021 8:30 AM ET