You may have heard that in the state of Virginia, lawmakers have introduced bills that would drastically change gun laws, essentially making every gun-owning, law-abiding citizen a criminal and an outlaw. Naturally, many communities are not too happy with the proposed regulations. And so in response, many cities, towns, and whole counties have passed around resolutions that declare themselves as sanctuary areas for guns and gun control.
And the state Attorney General isn’t thrilled about it. So what exactly is his plan to counteract these resolutions? To call a press conference and promise that the resolutions will have absolutely no effect on his efforts to take your guns.
It sounds like it will work, right?
According to the Washington Post, “Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) issued an opinion Friday that there is no legal weight to the “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions being passed in localities around the state in reaction to potential new gun control laws.”
“When the General Assembly passes new gun safety laws they will be enforced, and they will be followed,” Herring said in announcing the opinion. “These resolutions have no legal force, and they’re just part of an effort by the gun lobby to stoke fear.”
“Gun rights advocates say more than 110 Virginia localities have passed some form of the resolutions, which say that local agencies will not enforce any gun restrictions that they deem to be unconstitutional.”
Now, it is essential to note that what Herring said about these resolutions having no real “legal force” is true. At least somewhat. It is definitely correct that state law supersedes that of cities, counties, and municipalities and will every time. However, that really isn’t the whole point of the sanctuary resolutions. While it would be nice if they could say things are legal that really aren’t according to state law, that isn’t what it’s for.
The purpose of the resolutions is to state that those areas won’t be extending their reach or precious resources to enforce the new state law.
If you think about it, it is absolutely no different than counties and municipalities declaring themselves as sanctuary areas for immigrants. By doing so, they aren’t saying it’s legal to be in our nation as an illegal immigrant. And they certainly can’t stop state or federal officials from trying to enforce the law. But they can order their own local police forces and law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE or using their personnel or other resources to make sure those laws are enforced.
The communities in Virginia are doing the same thing here, just with guns and gun control instead. If the state gun control laws are changed, these areas are just saying that their local police officers will not help with the enforcement of it. They won’t spend their time, money, or personnel going house and house and collecting guns from law-abiding citizens.
If the Attorney General and Governor want the laws to really be enforced, then they can send in state troopers to do that job. Can you imagine the amount of state resources that would require? To send troopers to every home in the entire state, through hills and hollers?
Then again, they are also trying to put some severe repercussions in place for law enforcement officers and agencies that refuse to help their cause. According to some policies being proposed, those who reject the AG’s prerogative will be fired, losing their pensions and health care as a result.
However, that is likely to start a whole new fight, as those resisting the state’s efforts currently extend far beyond those low on the law enforcement totem pole and will include mayor, county sheriffs, executives, and police chiefs. These people have all been elected into office and, as such, have a certain amount of power and likeability within their communities. So cutting these people out could cause even more mass outrage.
And as the AG and Governor are elected officials themselves, it could mean they won’t have a job for much longer either. I very much doubt the state of Virginia would think fondly of giving these men any chance to continue their reign of tyranny, especially since both barely even got the vote last year.
Herring’s words might sound strong and uncontradictable, but the sad fact for them is that it is a lost cause. And what they prove is that this was never about gun safety, it’s all about the power.