The Origins Of Second Amendment Sanctuary Communities

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File

From the first moment I heard of a jurisdiction deciding to become a Second Amendment sanctuary, I couldn’t help myself. I laughed. Not because the idea was ridiculous, but because it was just so beautiful.

As progressives lash out, screaming about the rule of law, they forget that the origins of this movement lie with them [emphasis mine]:

While the ordinances are not legally binding, Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace says that, in the case of the universal background check bill, they’re meant to signal sheriffs’ unwillingness to carry out a law that he describes as “unenforceable”—a “feel-good” measure aimed at appeasing the state’s gun-reform activists without doing enough to support sheriffs.

Mace, who is also the president of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association, says that he came up with the idea for the sanctuary resolutions one day while he was driving home from a particularly frustrating committee meeting for the background check bill, during which he says sheriffs’ concerns had largely fallen on deaf ears. The initiative, he is quick to point out, was directly inspired by the immigration sanctuary movements that have been spearheaded in liberal communities throughout the country, in which certain jurisdictions direct state resources away from enforcing federal immigration laws, or otherwise do not cooperate with federal immigration officers.

There are whole sanctuary county, city, and state movements, and those are essentially saying ‘Hey, we can shield immigrants from the federal law,’” Mace says. “They’re picking and choosing which laws they want to follow as a state, so we’re thinking as a county, why can’t we take this back to our commissioners and say we’re going to draft a resolution that says our counties are Second Amendment sanctuary counties.”

Mace is not alone in his efforts: Similar gun-sanctuary movements have arisen in at least four other states with Democratic-controlled legislatures in recent months, including Washington, Nevada, Oregon, and Illinois. In those states, as in New Mexico, the ideological schism between government and local law enforcement highlights a widening gulf between the state’s rural and metropolitan populations.

In other words, progressives brought this on themselves.

Yes, the rule of law is important. If there’s anything we should support across ideological divides, it should be the rule of law.

However, Second Amendment advocates aren’t going to play by a different set of rules than their opponents. You can’t expect us to play by Marquis of Queensbury rules while you’re going full-bore MMA. It’s just not happening.

So they came up with this idea of sanctuary cities.

Now, people are using that same idea for gun laws, and progressives are now suddenly big fans of the rule of law. They’re screaming and freaking out over these sanctuary counties and furious that sheriffs are saying they won’t enforce these laws, but where was their outrage a few years back? Where was it when these policies were responsible for the murder of Kate Steinle?

Back then, it was only silence. Suddenly, federalism was cool, sacrosanct. Communities that wanted to ignore federal immigration laws were just awesome.

Well, now it’s the Second Amendment’s turn.

Now, the pro-gun forces are marshaling their side to create sanctuaries. They didn’t pick the game, they’re just using the rules.

Maybe anti-gunners should remember that.