Rutherford Institute: Anti-Gun Laws, Sanctuary Cities and the Second Amendment

Constitutional attorney John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute has written this article on the dangers of red flag laws and the current trend of Second Amendment Sanctuaries amidst growing government tyranny – Red Flag Nation: Anti-Gun Laws, Sanctuary Cities and the Second Amendment. The article is rather lengthy, but John Whitehead writes informative pieces; it’s worth your time.

Seventeen states now have red flag laws on their books.

That number is growing.

As The Washington Post reports, these laws “allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.

In the midst of what feels like an epidemic of mass shootings (the statistics suggest otherwise), these gun confiscation laws—extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws—may appease the fears of those who believe that fewer guns in the hands of the general populace will make our society safer.

Of course, it doesn’t always work that way.

Anything—knives, vehicles, planes, pressure cookers—can become a weapon when wielded with deadly intentions.

With these red flag gun laws, the stated intention is to disarm individuals who are potential threats… to “stop dangerous people before they act.”

While in theory it appears perfectly reasonable to want to disarm individuals who are clearly suicidal and/or pose an “immediate danger” to themselves or others, where the problem arises is when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police.

We’ve been down this road before.

Remember, this is the same government that uses the words “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably.

This is the same government whose agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports using automated eyes and ears, social media, behavior sensing software, and citizen spies to identify potential threats.

This is the same government that keeps re-upping the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the military to detain American citizens with no access to friends, family or the courts if the government believes them to be a threat.

This is the same government that has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.

For instance, if you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list

Click here to read the entire article at The Rutherford Institute.

Mind Unleashed: A Battle Over the Second Amendment is Unfolding Across America

Second Amendment Sanctuary counties and states

 

Sanctuary Cities: A Battle Over the Second Amendment is Unfolding Across America appears over on The Mind Unleashed. It talks about the escalating situation in Virginia and how the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement has been spreading. I believe that the author misses a few states with Second Amendment Sanctuaries.

As Virginia’s new Democratic legislature promises gun control measures, the wives of National Guardsman are warning that impending gun legislation threatens to turn neighbor against neighbor…

The so-called Second Amendment “sanctuary city” movement takes it’s name from previous resolutions introduced by opponents of hard line immigration policies. These sanctuary cities are defined as a city (or a county, or a state) that limits its cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents in order to protect low-priority immigrants from deportation, while still turning over those who have committed serious crimes.

In a similar fashion, supporters of Second Amendment sanctuary cities are now asking local law enforcement to refuse to comply with orders from the state regarding gun control…

Democratic Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin told the Washington Examiner that Governor Northam could cut off state funds to local bodies that refuse to comply to new gun control laws and could call in the National Guard to enforce the laws, if necessary. Although Northam has said he has no plans to call in the National Guard, the statement by McEachin has already caused backlash.

On December 30, Virginia Delegate Dave LaRock sent a letter to Governor Northam asking him to deescalate the situation after LaRock received a letter from Michaela Claywell, a Virginian and wife of an active-duty Virginia Guardsman. Claywell told LaRock that she has witnessed threats of violence being made against Guardsman on social media…

Mrs. Claywell and a number of wives of high-level officers in the Virginia National Guard are calling on Governor Northam and other state and federal officials to calm the situation…

So far 70 of Illinois’s 102 counties have passed some form of Second Amendment sanctuary resolution. The movement is showing no signs of slowing down as it spreads across the states of Kansas, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, and Virginia.

Click here to read the entire article at The Mind Unleashed.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: The 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Movement

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg has up an article about Localism in the 2020s and specifically discussing the effectiveness and importance of the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement.

…Before discussing the significance of all this, let’s address some thoughtful criticism of the movement from Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. His primary point of contention is that the resolutions these municipalities and counties are passing — unlike immigration sanctuary ordinances passed in places such as San Francisco — carry no weight of the law.

Specifically, they’re not passing ordinances, but rather resolutions, which Michael describes as “non-binding political statements.” In other words, it’s all just talk at this stage and he’s frustrated that much of the media coverage makes it seem what’s being passed is more concrete than it actually is. Although I disagree with his overall assessment of the importance of what’s happening, he makes many good points and puts some much needed meat on the bone of this issue for those getting up to speed. He published an instructive video on the topic, which I recommend checking out.

Despite his legitimate criticisms, I believe the second amendment sanctuary movement is meaningful in the bigger picture of the nation’s emergent social and political evolution. Although it is indeed mostly just talk at this point, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re going to build a movement you need to start by talking and establishing some sort of consensus amongst your peers. More concrete steps can follow in the future. Don’t forget this is a learning process for many of the people involved, and many of those coming out to these city and county meetings likely never engaged politically in such a manner before in their lives…

Even bigger picture, the second amendment sanctuary movement should be seen as a manifestation of a core trend I except to grow considerably in the decade to come: localism. The people driving this movement aren’t petitioning Washington D.C. or even their state house, instead they’re looking to their friends and neighbors and taking a unified stand at the local level. Simply put, they’re attempting to take matters into their own hands as opposed to begging distant authority figures. This is in large part why their actions seem disorganized and unsophisticated; these are just regular people saying enough is enough, and in this case the line in the sand happens to be firearms.

This goes against everything we’re taught. We’re led to believe we have representatives in D.C. that actually represent us and we just need to elect the right people to have our voices heard. This sounds good, but we all know by now it’s a lie…

Importantly, this is how it should be. If we’re going to crawl out of the mess we’re in it seems clear we need a different approach. Pretending all we need to do is “elect good people” to Congress or the Presidency is a slave mentality. The system itself is so completely corrupt and so explicitly rewards criminal and evil behavior, we need to start thinking and acting differently, which means focusing on what’s closest to home…

Click here to read the entire article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

Independent Institute: Second Amendment Sanctuaries Started in 1774

Attorney and author Stephen P. Holbrook has written an article about Second Amendment sanctuaries and what is going on in Virginia over at Independent Institute. Dr. Holbrook has written and litigated extensively on Second Amendment issues. He wrote an amicus brief for DC v Heller and was counsel for the NRA in McDonald v Chicago, both before the US Supreme Court, among others.

…Spearheading the war on Virginia gun owners is Gov. Ralph Northam, best known for his gig in blackface or Klan attire, and for calmly endorsing post-delivery abortion, that is, infanticide. To divert attention from the backlash, he is moving to criminalize all sorts of innocent conduct that has been lawful in the Commonwealth since Jamestown was settled in 1607.

It’s as if “the Redcoats are coming” again. Northam’s counterpart in 1774 was Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor, who took measures to disarm “disloyal” Virginians led by Patrick Henry. The patriots were arming and organizing themselves into independent companies to protect their rights.

None other than George Washington formed the Fairfax Independent Militia Company. “Threat’ned with the Destruction of our Civil-rights, & Liberty,” wrote George Mason, the volunteers pledged that “we will, each of us, constantly keep by us” a musket, six pounds of gunpowder, and 20 pounds of lead.

That was a lot of ammo. There’s a parallel here to the “large capacity” magazines that Northam wants to ban. And there’s an irony that Fairfax County is now the center of the blue wave that supports Dunmoresque gun bans.

The rest is history. In 1775 the Redcoats marched to seize colonists’ arms at Lexington and Concord and the Americans repulsed them. The inhabitants of Boston were ordered to turn in their guns, which were seized by British General Gage. The Continental Congress cited this perfidy in the Declaration of Causes of Taking Up Arms.

Nothing like that will happen today. Counties that have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries make clear their dedication to use all lawful means to protect their constitutional rights. Law-enforcement authorities have scarce resources and must choose how to allocate them. Work to solve murders and robberies, or track down gun owners because they have rifles with those oh-so-deadly pistol grips or adjustable stocks? That’s a no-brainer.

But those who support filling the prisons with law-abiding citizens just because they have, for instance, a rifle that will also shoot flares—which is nothing more than a distress signal—should remember our history. The Second Amendment was adopted to prevent exactly those kinds of infringements.

A Second Amendment sanctuary shouldn’t be any more controversial than a First Amendment sanctuary. Imagine if the governor signed a law banning books he didn’t like, then sent police to search houses to confiscate them and arrest their owners, who would be charged with a felony. He could then have a book burning alongside of his massive gun melting…

Click here to read the entire article at Independent Institute.

VCDL and GOA Respond to VA AG Opinion on Second Amendment Sanctuaries

Virginia Attorney General Herring issued his formal legal opinion on Second Amendment Sanctuaries on Dec. 20th. On Dec. 26th, The Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America published their response. Click here to download a pdf file of the response. The summary appears below. It is humorous that some legislators are saying that law enforcement officers are bound by their oaths to enforce these unconstitutional laws while they themselves are bound by their own oath of office not to pass any unconstitutional laws (both the federal Constitution and the VA state constitution). By their own reckoning, legislators who want to enact laws that infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms are duty bound to resign their positions.

Virginia Attorney General (“AG”) Mark Herring was asked to issue a formal legal opinion regarding Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions being adopted by counties, cities, and towns across Virginia. AG Herring’s official advisory opinion (“Herring AO”) was issued on December 20, 2019. In it, AG Herring argues that Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions (i) have “no legal effect,” (ii) local government officials “must comply with gun violence prevention measures that the General Assembly may enact,” and (iii) “neither local governments nor local constitutional officers have the authority to declare state statutes unconstitutional or decline to follow them on that basis.” Each of these contentions is untrue.

Based on the Herring AO, and various statements reported in the press, it is apparent that AG Herring and Governor Ralph Northam believe that Virginia localities have a duty to actively assist the Commonwealth in the enforcement of any law enacted by the General Assembly. These officials appear to believe that such blind obedience is required irrespective of whether a law violates the U.S. Constitution, the Virginia Constitution, or is manifestly destructive of the pre-existing rights of the People of Virginia. This radical view is demonstrably false, and ignores the significance of the fact that local officials are required by law to take an oath to support the federal and state constitutions above the laws enacted by the General Assembly.

Moreover, neither Attorney General Herring nor Governor Northam can credibly demand that local governments must implement every Act of the General Assembly, because that view directly contradicts the positions they have taken in the past. Indeed, on three recent occasions, AG Herring and Governor Northam have taken exactly the opposite legal position, with respect to: (i) the defense of the Virginia Marriage Amendment to the Virginia Constitution; (ii) the General Assembly’s refusal to assist the federal government with the arrest and detention of civilians as authorized by the National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012; and (iii) the right of localities in Virginia to become sanctuary cities with respect to the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Finally, the assertion that lesser magistrates owe slavish obedience to abusive higher
authorities was never the view of the Founding Fathers, particularly those from the
Commonwealth of Virginia. Had the English barons embraced this view, there might never have been a confrontation with King John at Runnymede, leading to the protections provided by Magna Carta. Had our nation’s founders embraced this view, Virginia might still be a colony of England. Truly, this view is contrary to the most basic principles which underlay our form of government, is anti-Biblical, and is profoundly abusive of the pre-existing and inalienable rights of the People of Virginia.

Washington Examiner: Uprising – 90% of Virginia Counties Gun Sanctuaries and Spreading

This piece talks about how 90% of the counties in Virginia have become Second Amendment sanctuaries in just 43 days after draconian anti-gun rights bills were introduced by the new Democrat majorities in the state’s legislature. The movement is also spreading to other states.

Washington Examiner: Uprising: 90% of Virginia counties become gun ‘sanctuaries,’ expanding movement to nine states

Stirred awake by Democratic proposals to take, register, and possibly seize their legally obtained weapons, Virginia gun owners in just 43 days have pushed 90% of the state’s counties to become gun “sanctuaries,” the latest three on Monday night.

Since the Nov. 5 election that gave Democrats control of Richmond, an “organic,” pro-gun movement has prompted the governments of 86 of Virginia’s 95 counties, as well as 15 towns and cities, to adopt some type of sanctuary language, putting Gov. Ralph Northam and other liberals on notice that their gun control plans aren’t welcome.

“I did not think it would be that high of a number,” said sanctuary advocate and Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins.

“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 shook a lot of them awake. They are fully awake,” he told Secrets.

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…

Click here to read the entire article.