More than 90 percent of Virginia counties have united together to adopt “gun sanctuary” policies amid a new anti-gun legislative push across the state.
As the Washington Examiner reports, Democrats gained control of the state legislature in Richmond as a result of the November 5th elections and quickly looked to tackle the issue of gun violence and gun ownership.
At that same time, however, 86 of Virginia’s 95 counties banded together and said they would not enforce any unconstitutional laws which may possibly be signed into law by Democratic Governor Ralph Northam.
“I did not think it would be that high of a number,” said Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins, who has advocated for the sanctuary status. “It’s an organic thing that just took off after Election Day. Elections have consequences, and this is the result. This has truly rocked the conservative, libertarian group’s core. It has really shaken a lot of them awake. They are fully awake.”
“It’s not the NRA, as everyone might expect,” he added.
“It’s all part of an agenda to further take away firearms, restrict and register weapons, and there is no need for it. There are enough laws already in place on weapon restrictions. We need no new laws. We need to focus on the ones we have,” Jenkins continued per the report.
The sheriff said the movement is being spurred by those who would otherwise be sitting out of the political process—but who are joining it because they see the government now starting to intrude into their daily lives and trample their constitutional rights.
“They are the ones you don’t hear from. They’re not going to speak out at the board meetings or polling places and write editorials. They’re the everyday man who is focused on raising a family, going to work, and trying to live a good life and be a good citizen, and they see this as people who have no knowledge of what they’re family means when it comes to protection or the bearing of arms, nor can they relate to their culture of hunting or sport shooting or anything about them, and yet they want to come from their urban areas … and they drive to Richmond, where they want to implement these laws where the vast amount of Virginia is going to be affected by it even though they have not done anything wrong,” he said.
— Scott Jenkins (@ScottHJenkins) December 12, 2019
The Washington Examiner adds:
Remarkably, the effort has not seen a big push from the National Rifle Association. Local groups, notably the Virginia Citizens Defense League, have led the campaign that has brought thousands of gun-rights advocates to county board meetings.
It has also become the national model for the movement that has now reached Illinois, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and Tennessee. Illinois is credited with starting the movement.
“What’s happening is Virginia is becoming a national story and model,” said Cam Edwards, editor of Bearing Arms and a national authority on gun laws.
Uprising: 90% of Va counties join gun ‘sanctuary’ movement, expands to 9 states. "It's organic," says Sheriff @ScottHJenkins. It's a national movement, adds @CamEdwards of @BearingArmsCom. @VCDL_ORG @VA_Gun_Rights is leading VA's effort vs. @RalphNortham https://t.co/jAvvbckTzO pic.twitter.com/Zd83Zxndwu
— Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) December 18, 2019
The Stafford, Prince Edward, and York counties each joined the sanctuary effort on Monday, becoming the latest to do so.