As Democrats celebrate taking over several states in the 2018 mid-term elections, there is a movement to restrict their egregious planned infringement of precious rights. It’s called the “sanctuary county” movement, the “Second Amendment Sanctuary” movement, or the “Second Amendment Preservation” movement, and it’s based on the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
And the political subdivision closest to “the people” is the county. There are 3,000 counties in the United States, and most of them elect their chief law-enforcement officer, the county sheriff. Reuters reported on Monday that “a rapidly growing number of counties in [five] states are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, refusing to enforce gun-control laws that they consider to be infringements on the U.S. Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
Those states, so far, are Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Voters in Washington State approved a bill last November infringing on the rights of gun owners living there by raising the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, expanding background checks, and extending the waiting period to buy guns to 10 days. But Sheriff Bob Songer has a higher authority: the 22,000 citizens living in Kickitat County. Said Songer: “Unfortunately for the governor and the [state’s] attorney general, they’re not my boss. My only boss is the people who elected me to office.”
As of this writing, more than half of Washington’s 39 counties have pledged not to enforce the new restrictions, and five of them have passed resolutions to that effect.
In Oregon, the movement is gaining momentum as well, with eight counties having already approved Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances confirming the sheriff’s power to determine which state laws to enforce.
In Illinois, 63 counties have passed similar measures and more are likely to do so, according to Dave Campbell, an Effington County board member. He told Reuters: “If they [anti-gun politicians in Springfield] want to have their own laws, that’s fine. Don’t shove them on us down here.”
Momentum for such resistance is building in Colorado, and the state, with Democrats now controlling both houses and the governor’s mansion, hasn’t even passed any new infringements. But they are coming, with hearings taking place currently on the so-called red flag laws that Democrats have promised to pass and the governor has promised to sign.
On February 26, the board of Fremont County, Colorado (population 46,000), passed Resolution #12 unanimously. Resolution #12 is now serving as a template for activists in other counties pressuring board members to do the same. From Fremont’s resolution:
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Fremont by the authority granted the Board by the laws of the State of Colorado and people of Fremont County, Colorado to stand and defend their rights and liberties, which are guaranteed by the United States and Colorado Constitutions, we hereby declare this Resolution to be a Second Amendment Preservation Resolution Designating Fremont County a Second Amendment “Sanctuary County.”
Be It Further Resolved that this board affirms its support for the duly elected Sheriff of Fremont County, Colorado in the exercise of his sound discretion and affirms its resolve to support decisions by our Sheriff to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms law against any citizen.
In New Mexico, nearly every county sheriff in the state opposed new infringements of the Second Amendment, and 24 of the state’s 33 counties have passed Second Amendment sanctuary ordinances.
Mike Herrington, sheriff for Chaves County, New Mexico, will not be enforcing a new law in that requires background checks on all gun sales and told USA Today why: “I take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and I enforce all lawful laws that do not infringe on my Constitutional rights.”
Upon learning of the “sanctuary county” movement‘s growing resistance in her state, New Mexico’s Democrat Governor Michelle Grisham tweeted, “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.”
Grisham tweeted again, “I’m not daunted by obstacles, whether it’s NRA propaganda, rogue sheriffs throwing a childish pity party or bad-faith critics. Legislative leaders and I will continue to fight the scourge of gun violence on our communities.”
The question is raised: Just how will state laws in rural counties such as these be enforced? Economist and historian Gary North has the answer:
The ability of federal and state agencies to control what goes on in these low-populated counties is limited. They have their hands full keeping a lid on large cities. They don’t have the manpower and the budgets to send people with badges and guns into the rural counties to push people around.
If the sheriffs resist, there is little that state and federal agencies can do. At some price, they could do it, but the cost of running large urban populations is getting ever higher, and the money available to accomplish this is getting threatened by the inability of the federal government to collect taxes sufficient to meet the welfare payments of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the military-industrial complex.
Granny is going to get [her Social Security]. Billy Bob is going to keep his guns.
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