As Virginia continues to prepare for the influx of newly elected Democrats in their legislature to officially take office, both sides of the gun debate are digging in.
On the pro-gun side, a number of counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary measures as a signal to anti-gun lawmakers. Whether they’ll get the message or not remains to be seen. What doesn’t, though, is that the state attorney general expects everyone to toe the line in regards to draconian anti-gun measures.
Things are certainly getting sporty up that way.
However, one sheriff has gone on the record saying that sure, he’ll enforce the laws on the books…but he also has a bold workaround that is bound to infuriate anti-gunners.
“All my adult life, in the military and in local government, I’ve sworn to uphold the Constitution and I’ll be damned if any politician down in Richmond or anywhere else is going to get me to change my mind,” said Supervisor Bill Chase, a Vietnam veteran.
The overflow audience in attendance erupted in applause at this statement as Chase invited Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins to the podium to share his thoughts on the Second Amendment.
“The right to bear arms—some believe that the Second Amendment gives us that right, when in fact it’s a God-given right. If you don’t believe in God, it’s a law of nature that every creature can defend their lives from threats,” Jenkins said.
The sheriff, elected in November to a third term in office, said he would not violate his oath of office by declining to enforce new gun laws, but asserted he was prepared to act otherwise.
“If the legislature decides to restrict certain weapons I feel harms our community, I will swear in thousands of auxiliary deputies in Culpeper,” Jenkins said. “There’s no limit to the number of people I can swear in.” The sheriff added, “Personally, I don’t think some of the bills that are proposed will pass, I don’t think we’re that far left in Virginia.”
I’m not going to lie, I like it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want these laws passed at all and I love the idea of sanctuary cities. However, because of the Dillon Rule, Virginia measures are likely to remain as resolutions with a wink and a nod by actual law enforcement as they simply don’t prosecute those who don’t abide by the law.
Yet by deputizing basically the whole county, those citizens then become law enforcement officers. Most such laws allow exemptions for police and sheriff’s deputies, so he can deputize pretty much anyone and they simply keep on with their firearms like nothing ever happened. Plus, it would make the county a far worse place to commit a crime, that’s for damn sure.
All in all, the best position for Virginians to find themselves in is one where none of these laws pass. However, sheriffs willing to work around these laws should they pass is almost as good of a win.
Good on Sheriff Jenkins for thinking of it.
Check out Beth Baumann’s thoughts on it over at Townhall, too.