2A “Sanctuary Cities” Spreading Across America
A growing number of jurisdictions in several states have declared safe zones for gun rights.
It seems that both sides of the gun control debate are divided by an ever-widening chasm. While some municipalities and counties are enacting draconian gun laws, others are moving away from permit system in favor of constitutional carry. To help ensure that the protections that are supposed to be guaranteed by the Second Amendment, a growing number of jurisdictions have declared themselves “Sanctuary Cities.”
Citing the immigration policies in place in a number of cities, lawmakers in these Second Amendment sanctuaries have decided that they will not enforce any laws that place additional restrictions on firearm ownership not outlined in the Constitution.
So, if the state were to pass a law requiring the registration of all semiautomatic firearms, the smaller jurisdiction in question would not enforce these rules. Unfortunately, these are mostly symbolic measures, but they represent a step in the right direction.
Alaska is one of the last to be granted statehood, but was one of the first to adopt Second Amendment protections. Firearms are a way of life in the Frontier State, and they are relied on for protection in the unsettled backcountry. In 2013, Governor Sean Parnell signed House Bill 69, which forbids any agents of the state from infringe on a person’s right to bear arms.
The preamble to HB 69 reads:
“Prohibiting state and municipal agencies from using assets to implement or aid in the implementation of the requirements of certain federal statutes, regulations, rules, and orders that are applied to infringe on a person’s right to bear arms or right to due process or that implement or aid in the implementation of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005; exempting certain firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition in this state from federal regulation; declaring certain federal statutes, regulations, rules, and orders unconstitutional under the Constitution of the United States and unenforceable in this state; requiring the attorney general to file any legal action to prevent implementation of a federal statute, regulation, rule, or order that violates the rights of a resident of the state; and providing for an effective date.”
Guns help settle the West, and New Mexico vividly recalls that. Some 26 out of 33 counties have adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions, despite Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s objections. The New Mexico Sheriffs Association penned a letter vowing to not assist in enforcing unconstitutional laws, with 30 out of 33 county sheriffs signing.
The Evergreen State recently passed Initiative 1639 with 60 percent of the vote. This contentious referendum raises the legal age to purchase semiautomatic rifles from the federal limit of 18 to 21, requires an enhanced background check, training requirements, and a waiting period of 10 business days. I-1639 also adds a “Safe Storage” provision, which creates gross misdemeanor and felony classes of a new crime, “community endangerment,” for those that fail to secure their firearm as the new initiation deems necessary.
If you think this sounds unconstitutional, you are not alone. Twenty-four of the state’s 39 counties have sheriffs that have vowed to not enforce 1-1639.
The dissonance was lead by police chief Loren Culp of Republic, who asked the City Council to declare the hamlet a safe haven for the Second Amendment. Since that time, more law enforcement officials have come out against the controversial legislation.
The West is a stronghold of gun culture in America, and Colorado is no exception. To date, 23 of the Centennial State’s 64 counties have adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions, with 11 more considering adding similar legislation.
Most of these were created at a breakneck pace to combat House Bill 19-1177, so-called “Red Flag” laws. They state that no funding will be used to enforce unconstitutional laws such as HB 19-1177, and that the sheriff will uphold his oath to the constitution instead of enforcing laws that violate the Second Amendment.
Chicago has among the toughest gun laws in the nation. This fact is not lost on the citizens of the state not residing in the Windy City, who fear the strict the laws will eventually spread to their hometowns. To combat this, at least 39 of the state’s 102 counties have passed legislation declaring their 2A sanctuary status.
This grabbed the attention of those that seek to take guns from law-abiding citizens, and has inspired Representative Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) to file House Bill 3553, which would prohibit local governments from passing any ordinance restricting enforcement of any state gun law.
Maryland is increasingly becoming a battleground state for gun control. This increased scrutiny has forced a number of gun owners to state that they “will not comply” with unjust laws. That civil disobedience isn’t limited to civilians, with a number of law enforcement officials stating that they will not enforce those unjust laws.
An increasing number of sheriffs will not enforce these new laws, which many have deemed as unconstitutional. The law enforcement officials have also stated that even they wanted to comply with the unjust laws, they are unenforceable as written.
The measure also called on the Governor to veto any legislation that would “infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” This has provided the impetus to encourage 15 of the Silver State’s 17 counties to propose similar resolutions. Additionally, two sheriffs have vowed not to enforce a new law requiring background checks for private gun sales.
The Beaver State is increasingly putting a new type of legislation on the voting block: Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances. These laws would give those county sheriffs the authority to determine if state and federal gun laws are constitutional and bar county resources from being used to enforce them. Some 13 of the state’s 36 counties have such laws on the books now, with more expected to bring the decrees in the coming months.