Newsline , Society

Second Amendment Sanctuary Cities and Counties – Will they catch on?

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2019
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles

The idea is clever – and you will not see mainstream media trumpeting it.  In short, why not create “sanctuary cities” (or counties) that promote gun safety, public security and gun ownership.  The phrase used in Effingham County, Illinois is “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.”  Where this trail leads is anyone’s guess, but it could prove more than interesting. 

In short, the idea is to create non-binding resolutions on a local – perhaps eventually state – level that reinforce, reassure and reaffirm the municipality’s commitment to Second Amendment rights, as well as responsible gun ownership, use and education.  In some places, resolutions attempt to exempt a county or city from arguably unconstitutional state law, while in others they simply encourage gun ownership and stewardship.

Obviously, this sends two signals – one of openness to responsible gun owners, one of caution to those who would pursue lawless, violent or provocative actions intended to place at risk public and private safety of those living in these counties. 

If the constitutional framers were alive today – men who placed the rights to gun ownership, free speech, free association, freedom of worship and indicia of limited government in our first two constitutional amendments – once senses they would either cheer or shrug. 

The idea that responsible, citizen- gun owners should have to frame a second affirmation of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms for individual and collective security, now at the municipal level, would strike some as reassuring, others as absurd. 

But this is the world we live in, where long established rights are being questioned – along with constitutional guarantees, secular and religious traditions, and intergenerational promises of fidelity to principle.  So, perhaps the idea is a good one.

As present, 64 of 102 Illinois counties, three other states, and perhaps nine more (all considering the concept) are on the way to becoming “Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties.”  Supporters call it a “movement,” lined up opposite a counter-movement of free-range “Sanctuary Cities” – that is, municipalities (in California, an entire state) which is resolved to shelter illegal aliens from legal process, overtly declining to cooperate with federal law enforcement.   

The connection between these two phenomena is not as far removed as might seem.  The so-called “Sanctuary Cities” (and state) are encountering increases in certain crimes, both in and around their geographies.  Illegal aliens move with relative impunity to federal laws, which would otherwise be enforced with local cooperation, and generally result in deportation – specifically for criminal activity.

In the “Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties,” emphasis is on collective and personal security, in the context of rising concern over declining state, county and city law enforcement – or on the flip side, rising rates of crime.  So openness of some states, counties and cities to illegal aliens, seems to be spawning a counter-push to re-secure parts of the country that feel at-risk or vulnerable.

While local pro-gun ownership resolutions are likely to vary widely, and do not appear to be creating major legal blowback (since we do all have Second Amendment rights), Effingham County’s 2018 resolution argued that five pieces of Illinois legislation limiting gun ownership were unconstitutional. 

These five included a minimum age of 21 for gun ownership, limits on gun-related addenda (e.g. bump stocks) and body armor.  The county demanded that the “Illinois General Assembly cease further actions restricting the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” and pressed for the governor to veto such limitations.

While some think the movement has no teeth, since municipalities are hard-pressed to force states to reverse course, others think it will grow.  Buried in the idea is growing resentment over restrictions on citizen rights, juxtaposed with expansion of rights for non-citizens who steal their way into the country. 

The surprise is that this reaffirmation of basic rights – at the municipal level – is growing.  County sheriffs and state’s attorneys are coming out in favor, and we will have to see where it leads. 

The basic question is:  Are we experiencing a renaissance in popular concern to defend Second Amendment rights at a local level.  The question buried in that question is:  If Americans are willing to stand up more fully, fruitfully and forcefully for their Second Amendment rights, what about similar resolutions tied to First Amendment rights, including freedoms of speech, religion and association?  And if First Amendment rights have new enthusiasm breathed into them, what other rights may reappear?

Whether the “Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties” movement continues to grow remains to be seen, but whenever Americans get involved in civic life at the local level, be assured – they have the bit in their mouth.  We, The People, are hard to stop when we start galloping down the trail of reclaiming lost rights.

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Michael Clark
Michael Clark
4 years ago

This is going to get fun old West is back time to live or die by your beliefs God guns and guts hope the left is ready

4 years ago

To answer your question, the answer is NO this won’t catch on. We already have the right to gun ownership via the 2nd Amendment at the federal level. That is a protected right, which has been confirmed multiple times by various Supreme Court rulings. While various states may elect and do indeed throw up all kinds of restrictions and regulations to limit the type or access to firearms, which is their right as individual states (It’s called States’ Rights for a reason), at the federal level gun ownership is still considered a protected right until and unless a new constitutional amendment is enacted to rule the 2nd Amendment null and void. That of course has been the big, long-term dream of the Democrat party for decades now. Simply because a disarmed public is just so much easier to impose their will on than a citizenry able to resist.

The whole reason for so-called “sanctuary cities” or even “sanctuary states” to exist in the first place, is because various states and cities have decided, on a completely unilateral basis with no enabling legislation passed at the federal government level (that would be Congress folks), to ignore federal law regarding illegal immigration and to actively undermine the federal agencies tasked with enforcing existing federal law on the subject. Thus what these Democrat-controlled states and cities are doing is breaking federal law which clearly, under the constitution, grants the federal government sole power over both immigration laws and their enforcement. The notion that we would need a so-called sanctuary cities or states policy for the 2nd Amendment is ludicrous. As it is already a right at the federal level.

If people want to ensure their right to gun ownership is protected, a far simpler solution is STOP ELECTING DEMOCRATS TO OFFICE AT ANY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT (Federal, State and Local). Yes, the radical idea of stop putting people in power, at any level of government, that want to take away not only your 2nd Amendment right, but also every other protected right spelled out in the Constitution. Because the simple fact of the matter is once a state goes solid Democrat, you get bet that every major city in the state has already gone Democrat. Thus the odds of swinging the state back to one that respects the individual rights outlined in the Constitution is effectively nil.

This whole idea of somehow needing a sanctuary cities policy to protect gun ownership rights sounds like another fund raising campaign. Collect a lot of money that will be divvied up between a select number of think tanks and political action committees for an idea that only has a chance is existing red states that already respect the rights enumerated under the Constitution. So it would be redundant at best or simply a way to justify wasting the time of politicians in red states. This idea has ZERO chance of going anywhere in existing blue (Democrat-controlled) states. Seriously, focus on ensuring President Trump gets re-elected, re-taking the House of Representatives from the Democrats and getting rid of Democrats at all levels of government.

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