I’m a huge fan of the Second Amendment sanctuary movement. I love all these communities that are stepping up and saying that they won’t enforce unconstitutional gun control laws. Since most arrests are made by local law enforcement, it’s an important stand and I’m glad to see it.
However, many of us, myself included, read way too much into these things. Just because local police won’t enforce a given law, it doesn’t mean federal officers can’t. Sure, they won’t have local cooperation, but that doesn’t really help anyone who runs afoul of those gun laws.
Yet a Missouri county is considering a measure that kind of ups the ante a bit.
One Missouri County, concerned that the federal government might infringe on the Second Amendment rights of its citizens, passed an ordinance this month which would invalidate any such attempt by the federal government.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act of Newton County, Missouri, states:
Be it enacted by the Newton County Missouri Commission as follows: All federal acts, laws, orders, rules and regulations passed by the Federal government and specifically any Presidential Administration whether past, present or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States and Article 1, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in the county, shall not be recognized by this county, and specifically rejected by this county, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this county.
Such acts, laws, orders, rules and regulations include but are not limited to any tax levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services … any registration or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition … any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition … and finally, any act, whether past, present or future passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by the Federal Government and specifically any Presidential Administration which infringes on the people’s right to keep and bear arms in Newton County, Missouri shall be considered null and void by the county and not recognized by this county.
The law adds: “Any and all federal agents trying to enforce the regulations listed in Section (1) shall be subject to arrest by the Sheriff’s department.”
Well, that makes things interesting, now doesn’t it?
Honestly, I’d love to tell you that this is an unmitigated good idea, and it may be. However, I also have concerns about just how that will shake out once everything is said and done. It’s not hard to imagine Newton County ending up in a stand-off with the federal government, and I don’t think that would work out well for the county, especially given that the Supreme Court has already rejected the idea that counties or states can interpose themselves against federal law enforcement.
I appreciate the sentiment at work in Newton County. After all, the federal government has spent decades upon decades taking a dump on our constitutionally-protected rights. I’m just not convinced that this is a winning strategy, or that the new ordinance will even be enforced.
What I do know, though, is that this should be interesting to watch. I wish Newton County the best, but I’d lawyer up just in case.
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