The Virginia Beach City Council voted Monday to add the city to a growing list of nearly 100 cities and counties that have joined the “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement in the commonwealth of Virginia, but some critics are decrying the trend as lawless.
The city council resolution declared a “continued commitment to support all provisions of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Measures passed in other cities and counties differ, but all share a common purpose: opposition to anticipated new gun control laws coming out of the now Democratically controlled state government in Richmond.
“People — in rural counties especially — they get a little upset when all of a sudden something that they could do one day … then the next day it’s illegal, that kind of strikes a chord,” said Shenandoah County Sheriff and Virginia Sheriffs Association president Tim Carter on Fox Nation’s “Deep Dive” on Tuesday.
“Is the United States Constitution not the law? Isn’t that the supreme law of the land?” he continued, arguing that proposed legislation in Richmond may infringe of his constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
“The Constitution — we all have a duty to uphold it,” said criminal defense attorney and civil rights attorney Ken Belkin. “I’m sure the sheriff swore an oath to it. I know I swore an oath to it. But the reality is there was an election. Elections have consequences. And unfortunately, with all due respect to the sheriff, he doesn’t get to decide. … He doesn’t get to decide which laws he enforces.”
“I think the proper thing to do would be for any gun-owning Virginian that’s going to be affected by this law,” Belkin continued. “that would have standing to challenge this law, to bring it into court, challenge the law, and maybe ask for an injunction on the law taking effect.”
A recent opinion piece in the Washington Post called the called referred to the “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement as “ugly” and “disturbing.” Seth Lipsky, founding editor of The New York Sun, argued that is, in fact, the opposite.
“I would start with just how basic and important the Second Amendment right is,” said Lipsky. “This is a really basic right and predates the Constitution.”
“I think it’s very significant that Sheriff Carter and every other sheriff in the United States must — must it’s required by our Constitution — swear to support the Constitution,” he continued. “So if a sheriff is confronted with a law that he thinks is conflicting with the constitution he’s sworn to support” they must be taken seriously
Lipsky concluded by saying that that U.S. Supreme Court must do more to settle disputes over the Second Amendment, because the debate is coming to a head in Virginia and around the country.
“What the sheriffs are doing in Virginia — they’re not alone,” said Lipsky. “There are others in the state of Washington — some of these western states. This has been a movement already. … This is a serious question. And the Supreme Court has moved by inches or microns, and it’s really shocking.”
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