Despite the efforts of Democrats in Virginia who have plans to interfere with the Second Amendment rights of the state’s citizens, on Monday night Fauquier County and Charles City County both voted to become “sanctuary counties,” bringing the total of “sanctuary counties” in Virginia to 87, representing 91% of the counties in Virginia.
Two Virginia counties have discussed the issue but not yet taken any action: Chesterfield County and Essex County, while two counties have said they will not become Second Amendment sanctuaries: Albemarle and Loudoun.
According to WTOP, “Neither a ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ designation nor a ‘Constitutional County’ holds legal weight, and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has signaled these resolutions will have no effect on what laws the General Assembly passes and enforces in 2020.”
University of Virginia Professor Rich Schragger told WSLS, “What they can do as a practical matter is quite limited. There is some room for local police departments and local officers to use their discretion with the laws, and that was the same thing with sanctuary cities in terms of immigration policy. Mostly, declaring yourself a Second Amendment sanctuary is more of a symbolic statement.” He added, “It’s a form of political resistance. It’s similar to when urban communities have made statements in the other direction for gun control. I’m not surprised; It’s a form of political action.”
As The Daily Wire reported earlier this month, WTKR reported that Virginia governor Ralph Northam was asked if he would retaliate against counties which had passed the resolutions. Northam answered, “There’s not going to be retaliation. That’s not what I’m about. I’m about making Virginia safer,” but then added, “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.”
Northam continued that the laws he passed were constitutional, although it is not his province to decide that matter.
At virtually the same time, Democratic Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin threatened to cut off state funds to the sanctuary counties, asserting, “They certainly risk funding, because if the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money. The counties attorneys’ offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down.”
McEachin then suggested even more Draconian measures: “And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law. That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.”
McEachin’s statement prompted Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, to reply, “We have received multiple questions regarding proposed legislation for the 2020 General Assembly session and the authority of the Governor of Virginia to employ the Virginia National Guard in a law enforcement role. We understand and respect the passion people feel for the U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights. We will not speculate about the possible use of the Virginia National Guard.”