For a while, it seemed like counties were embracing the status of Second Amendment sanctuaries at a breathtaking rate. No matter where we looked, it seemed counties and cities were declaring themselves to be places where the Second Amendment would be respected no matter what the state or federal governments decided to do.
It was pretty damn awesome, really, especially in answer to those who declared themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.
Yet, over time, momentum slowed down. In fairness, many places were a little preoccupied. You might have heard of that whole global pandemic thing? Yeah, that kind of sucked all the air out of the room for a lot of things.
Now, though, things have been settling down more or less and we’re starting to see more sanctuary communities.
The city of Eagle has declared itself a Second Amendment sanctuary city, making it the second Treasure Valley city to do so, after Star passed a similar resolution in July.
The City Council voted unanimously for the measure, igniting a round of applause from residents attending Tuesday’s meeting.
The “sanctuary status” is largely symbolic. In its resolution, Eagle declared that it would opposed the enactment of legislation that would “infringe upon the rights of people to keep and bear arms.”
But Idaho’s Legislature has rarely pushed for measures to increase gun control — and, in fact, in recent years has passed measures that would reduce restrictions. In 2019, for example, the Legislature lowered the age at which one could carry a concealed weapon to 18 from 21.
That could change, argued Eagle resident Brian Almon. A former Washington resident, he watched with frustration as the state passed legislation that increased gun control.
“The time to make a statement about where we stand is now, not when things have changed and the laws are infringing upon those rights,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting.
The sanctuary city movement gained popularity among liberal cities, which used them to restrict the use of city police officers in enforcing federal immigration laws.
Almon isn’t wrong, either. Washington state used to be a pretty pro-gun place, but that’s gone into the toilet in recent years. It’s only a matter of time before they decide to repeal their “Shall Issue” permitting law, among other things, just to become even more ridiculous.
To assume that Idaho won’t go that way would be ill-advised.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s pretty unlikely that Idaho will shift blue anytime soon, much less become outright anti-gun. It lacks a city quite like Seattle, for one thing, that can dwarf all the accumulation of sane people in the state.
However, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen anyway, and measures like this provide something of a bulwark against that contingency. Frankly, it’s why every county and city should at least consider such a measure. If they’re voted down, they’re voted down but at least put them up for a vote.
The fact that it will also show who the anti-gunners are in even supposedly non-partisan local races might just be a happy bonus.