Counties in four states are declaring themselves to be Second Amendment sanctuaries as local officials push back against firearms regulations being imposed by state governments.
And they’re using a tactic liberals have made famous in defying federal law.
“We’re just stealing the language that sanctuary cities use,” said Bryan Kibler, state’s attorney in Effingham County, Illinois, according to The Associated Press.
“We wanted to … get across that our Second Amendment rights are slowly being stripped away.”
Effingham County Board Member Dave Campbell told Reuters that more than 60 sanctuary communities now exist in Illinois.
He said Illinois cities like Chicago, more than 200 miles to the north, were welcome to impose their own gun control laws, but his county wasn’t interested.
“If they want to have their own laws, that’s fine. Don’t shove them on us down here,” he said.
Elsewhere, areas in Washington, Oregon and New Mexico have joined the movement in response to new curbs on gun rights being proposed, according to the Reuters report. This week, one Colorado county also joined the growing trend.
Fremont County Commissioner Debbie Bell said the law, passed to prevent enforcement of so-called “red flag” legislation, was necessary to protect the rights of the county’s citizens.
“We all feel as though a right is being taken away, so Fremont County has no interest whatsoever in participating in that,” she said, according to the Canon City Daily Record. “That’s why we are taking the action that we are taking today.”
Washington state voters last fall approved Initiative 1639. That law requires anyone buying a semiautomatic rifle be at least 21. It also calls for more background checks and increased the waiting period to buy a gun to10 days.
But that doesn’t mean those issues are settled at the local level.
Sheriff Bob Songer of Klickitat County told Reuters he has no plans to enforce the law when it takes effect in July.
“Unfortunately for the governor and the attorney general, they’re not my boss. My only boss is the people that elected me to office,” he said.
In New Mexico, 25 of its 33 counties have passed resolutions backing sheriffs who defy anti-gun laws they believe are unconstitutional.
“I take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and I enforce all lawful laws that do not infringe on my constitutional rights,” said Mike Herrington, Chaves County Sheriff, according to USA Today.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who supports a newly proposed state law for increased background checks, has tweeted her opposition to the local law enforcement taking a stand.
A few law enforcement officers in this state have been making noise about how they won’t enforce gun safety measures because they don’t like them. That’s not how laws work, of course, and it’s not how oaths of office work either. But let’s move past that. #SB8
— Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) February 26, 2019
Eight Oregon counties last fall passed what were called Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances that give the local sheriff the power to decide which gun laws will be enforced.
The stand for the Second Amendment was met with opposition by gun control advocates.
“It should not be up to individual sheriffs or police officers deciding which laws they personally like,” said Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence told Reuters.
“This attitude shows a disrespect for the way our system of government is supposed to operate.”
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