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Some Local Governments in Rural Virginia Declare 2nd Amendment Sanctuary

A handful of local governments across Virginia are declaring themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary.

The resolutions vow opposition to what some see as an unconstitutional infringement of Second Amendment rights.

Rural Virginia doesn’t think much of gun control, and a handful of local governments in Virginia are approving resolutions declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries.

Charlie Watts is a member of the Campbell County Board of Supervisors who introduced the resolution declaring his county a Second Amendment sanctuary.  “We should not be infringed upon our Second Amendment rights," Watts said. "And whether it becomes a resistance and whether the other counties get together that’s yet to be seen.”

If local governments would really follow through on defying state law on guns, the resistance would obviously be challenged in the courts. It’s a model that Democrats used to protest the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration. 

“I gather some conservatives are starting to think that sanctuary cities are good for me but not for thee,” notes Stephen Farnsworth.  Farnsworth is a political analyst at the University of Mary Washington.

He says it wasn’t all that long ago that Republicans were on the campaign trail warning of the perils of sanctuary cities.  "And now the sanctuary city conversation that Republicans found so problematic is something they’re employing themselves.”

The politics of gun control is expected to be a key feature of the upcoming General Assembly session, when Democrats are expected to pass sweeping new restrictions like closing the gun-show loophole and allowing local governments the ability to implement stricter gun control measures.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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