As Democratic Virginia state legislators are considering a host of new gun control bills as they will have majorities in the statehouse, some sheriffs are voicing their support for the counties that are declaring themselves as Second Amendment sanctuaries.
"I am in favor of the Second Amendment Sanctuary. I believe we need to send a message to Richmond that our citizens will take a stance. My deputies and I take an oath to uphold the Constitution and that’s what we will do," Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie Compton told Townhall.
It should come as no surprise that the more rural counties and cities in the commonwealth are having an easier time passing Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions. Having law enforcement backing those resolutions is critical for them to have any kind of effect.
Over 30 counties have declared themselves as Second Amendment sanctuaries so far, with many others planning on holding meetings to discuss such resolutions. The county meetings that have occurred are packed, with the vast majority of those in attendance being in favor of sanctuary status for firearms.
There's an overflow crowd here for the Fairfax County board of supervisors meeting which will consider a resolution to make the county a Second Amendment sanctuary. Many of the attendees are wearing "Guns Save Lives" stickers. pic.twitter.com/ZpYmFbElW2— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) December 3, 2019
A packed house in Goochland County for tonight’s supervisors meeting, where a #2A Sanctuary resolution is expected to be approved. Not only is the main meeting room full, but several auxiliary rooms are full of residents watching the meeting on TV. pic.twitter.com/43cZTcvFF4— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) December 3, 2019
"It sends a strong message to Richmond that we support the Constitution," King George County Sheriff Steve Dempsey told Townhall.
"As a Constitutional Officer of Virginia, and elected Sheriff, I am sworn to uphold the Constitution and both federal and state laws. I think our Constitution of the United States would supersede anything attempted to be passed in Virginia. But, more importantly, I would like to point out the very important question of - Who is going to come and get my guns and magazines? They are mine, I’ve bought them and paid for them. I have taught my sons to use them. I say we watch and see what happens, I believe they may try but I’m not so sure they will be successful," Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt said in a Facebook post.
Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins praised the Board of Supervisors for passing a Second Amendment sanctuary provision.
"I remain very optimistic that our General Assembly will not pass the proposed bills. Obviously, if passed, there are many of us willing to challenge these laws through the courts. In addition, if necessary, I plan to properly screen and deputize thousands of our law-abiding citizens to protect their constitutional right to own firearms," Jenkins added.
In deep-blue Fairfax County, which is just outside of Washington, D.C., the Board of Supervisors has made it clear it has no intention of declaring the county as a sanctuary. The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office forwarded a statement from Chairman Sharon Bulova to Townhall.
"The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is on record for supporting restrictions in firearms in some public places. We will continue to make sure our public safety agencies have the resources to keep our community safe."