Pennsylvania County To Declare Itself Second Amendment Sanctuary

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Much of the news we’ve reported out of Pennsylvania hasn’t been particularly good news. After all, the two largest cities are flexing their anti-gun muscles and the Governor is doing nothing to enforce preemption in the state, mostly because of his own anti-gun bias. There’s little reason to be excited if you’re a gun owner in the state.

Unless, of course, you live in a handful of counties, anyway.

Westmoreland County commissioners will approve a resolution to support gun rights this week.

Commissioners did not disclose the text of the resolution they will consider at their meeting on Thursday, but said it was based on a similar resolution approved earlier this month in Washington County. That resolution, according to Washington County commissioners, would enable non-enforcement of gun control laws prohibiting ownership of certain weapons if officials believe the law to be unconstitutional.

Kertes said Westmoreland’s proposed resolution will carry no specific policy directives.

“Our powers are limited, but we want the public to know we are standing with them,” Kertes said.

Thrasher called the resolution “silly” but said she will vote for its passage.

“I am pro-Second Amendment, but I don’t really understand the purpose of this resolution. We don’t have any jurisdiction over the United States Constitution and the Second Amendment,” Thrasher said.

In addition to Washington, commissioners in Greene and Fayette counties approved similar resolutions and Westmoreland’s leaders said Thursday’s vote is part of an effort to unify the region in support of gun rights.

Now, Thrasher is right that they have no jurisdiction over the Second Amendment, but the oath of office calls for all elected officials to support and defend the Constitution. That includes the Second Amendment.

This measure isn’t about trying to exert authority over the Constitution. It’s about trying to preserve it within your county, even if the rest of the country has decided to go and ignore it.

Of course, Thrasher plans to vote for the measure, so while she may not fully understand how effective it will be–and that’s something I suspect the courts will have to address–she’s still going to back it. My guess is for symbolic reasons if nothing else. I can respect that.

Right now, it appears this handful of counties are the ones ready to defend the constitution. Don’t expect Pittsburgh or Philadelphia to join them. It would be awesome if they did, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. And by “soon,” I mean anytime before the second coming of Christ.

And that’s my optimistic estimation, to be clear.

Regardless of what those two cities do, though, I’m glad to see more areas embracing the sanctuary movement in various places. I also believe we need to see a lot more counties stepping up to make it clear that they value the Second Amendment and won’t be bullied by politicians bought and paid for by the anti-gun lobby.

We all value our Second Amendment rights and won’t let them get taken away, regardless of what lawmakers may think. Sanctuary counties provide some cover for those who live there.