State Watch

Dozens of Virginia counties declare themselves ‘Second Amendment sanctuaries’ after Democrats win state legislature

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Dozens of counties in Virginia have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” in recent weeks after Democrats won control of the state legislature last month.

CNN reported that Surrey and Craig counties were among the latest to pass resolutions this week in support of Second Amendment rights, joining more than 40 other counties across the state.

The resolutions are not legally binding, CNN noted, and instead serve as declarations of support for citizens to exercise the right to carry weapons.

“The counties and gun groups are asking the jurisdictions and the commonwealth to support gun rights and their Second Amendment to make sure they [the state legislature] aren’t going to do anything to take that away,” Jonathan Lynn, county administrator and clerk of the Board of Surrey County, told the network.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has already vowed to reintroduce gun control legislation when lawmakers reconvene next year. He introduced the measure over the summer, but it went nowhere in the GOP-controlled legislature.

Northam’s proposal came during a special session on gun control after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach that claimed 12 lives.

Democrats in Virginia last month took control of the state legislature for the first time in more than 20 years, with many running on a platform calling for stricter gun control.

“These are people [gun owners] that were sleeping during the elections. That’s the problem with a lot of gun owners, they tend to get complacent and think, ‘oh okay, nothing bad is going to happen,'” Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, told CNN.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control group aligned with billionaire and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, sank millions into Virginia in an effort to flip the state blue.

State Del. Kenneth Plum (D) has already filed a bill to institute universal background checks, legislation that will be considered during next year’s session.

“With the outcome of the election, the fear arose that we finally are going to pass common sense gun violence bills. This is reactionary from the other side,” Plum told CNN. “They came up with the sanctuary city idea … but its impact is unknown.”

Plum added that to him “it’s unclear what the sanctuary part actually is.”

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