Democrats decried Second Amendment sanctuaries, but many are okay with ignoring abortion laws

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Ever since the first Second Amendment sanctuaries started popping up a few years ago, anti-gun politicians and gun control groups have complained that the communities putting these measures in place are overstepping their authority and have no recourse but to enforce any new gun control measures adopted by state legislatures or the federal government. The anti-gun website The Trace helpfully pointed out statements to that effect back in 2020, and the rhetoric hasn’t changed much since then.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring opined in December that the resolutions “have no legal force.” Last year, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson warned that sheriffs who declined to enforce Initiative 1639 — which required enhanced background checks for semiautomatic rifles — could be held liable if a law enforcement official refused to vet a gun buyer who later uses that gun to harm someone. And Colorado’s Attorney General Phil Weiser said that any sheriffs who refuse to enforce new gun laws should resign.

Mary B. McCord, a former acting assistant attorney general for national security, argued in The Washington Post that Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions have no legal basis and that only a court can overturn a state or federal law. “State constitutions, statutes and common law generally affirm the ‘supremacy’ of federal and state law, meaning that local jurisdictions are preempted from enacting conflicting ordinances and resolutions,” she wrote.

“It doesn’t matter if you like the law, you have to enforce it” is the mentality of these anti-gun Democrats. And yet, now that the Supreme Court has tossed out Roe v. Wade and left it up to states to address the issue of abortion, Democrats have a newfound respect for ignoring laws they don’t agree with.

Local legal officials say they and other city attorneys and county prosecutors in the U.S. will not make abortion ban enforcement a priority.

Zach Klein, city attorney for the city of Columbus, and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley signed on with more than 60 other prosecutors throughout the country, pledging not to use their offices’ resources to enforce abortion bans.

“We will continue to use our prosecutorial discretion to put the safety and security of Columbus residents first by allocating our resources to target the most serious crimes facing our community,” Klein wrote in a statement.

If these prosecutors have the discretion not to pursue cases related to abortion, then why don’t prosecutors or law enforcement have the same discretion when it comes to enforcing gun control laws?

Well, the obvious answer is that they do have that same discretion. It’s nothing more than pure hypocrisy for these anti-gun Democrats who take a dim view of Second Amendment sanctuaries to embrace prosecutorial discretion when it comes to abortion.

In fact, we’re now seeing lefty politicians work to establish their communities as “sanctuaries” for abortion, even when it conflicts with state law.

City Council Member Chito Vela, the lead sponsor of a resolution discouraging Austin police from investigating allegations concerning abortion, said Monday he expects City Council to consider the resolution at a special meeting held the week of July 18. In addition to Vela, sponsors of the resolution so far include Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Vanessa Fuentes, Paige Ellis, Leslie Pool, Ann Kitchen, and Kathie Tovo. The planned action is in direct response to Dobbs v. Jackson, the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision protecting a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion.

Vela’s resolution is known as the GRACE Act, or Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone. It states that it is the policy of the city, except as required by state or federal law, not to use city funds “to store or catalog any report of an abortion, miscarriage or other reproductive health care act.” The resolution also discourages police from providing information to any other governmental body related to any abortion or other reproductive health care activities. None of that would apply in cases “where coercion or force is used” against the individual who is pregnant.

… Vela said he had not discussed the matter with Police Chief Joseph Chacon. “I don’t think they’re eager” to pursue abortion providers or those helping women get abortions “given the personnel issues,” he said. He felt that the police were particularly unlikely to pursue reproductive matters, especially since Travis County District Attorney José Garza has said he will not prosecute such allegations.

So where are the howls of outrage from folks like Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who declared that county sheriffs have no authority or discretion when it comes to enforcing the state’s gun control laws? Well

“It removes and reverses decades of legal precedent relied upon by millions and millions of women in this country,” he said. “It is outrageous, and we will not accept it.”

Ferguson confirmed that, even if the draft opinion is adopted by the Supreme Court, abortion access in Washington will not change. Moreover, his office has also written to a number of medical commission boards to make sure that any doctor who ends up with a criminal history due to practicing safe and legal abortion in another state until it is criminalized, will not have that negatively affect them should they look for work here in Washington.

If it weren’t for double standards they’d have no standards at all.

The bottom line is that these Democrat-run cities and counties, as well as individual prosecutors and law enforcement, do have the authority to decide which laws are going to be prioritized and which ones are going to be mostly or completely ignored. So do the Republican-run cities and counties that have made the same decision when it comes to gun control, and all the handwringing and pearl clutching over Second Amendment sanctuaries has now been proven to be just another sanctimonious bit of political hypocrisy on the part of the anti-gun left.