Virginians are campaigning hard against the onslaught of anti-Second Amendment measures expected to be rolled out by the incoming Democratic-controlled state legislature with pro-Second Amendment billboards throughout the Commonwealth, the Daily Wire reports. The billboards began popping up in the same week two more Virginia counties have declared themselves pro-Second Amendment “sanctuaries,” bringing the total number of sanctuary counties to 87 of the Commonwealth’s 95.
In an effort to increase awareness of the impending anti-Second Amendment measures, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action has posted billboards throughout Virginia. One such billboard reads, “The Northam/Bloomberg Gun Confiscation Plan Starts Jan. 8. 2 Weeks.”
The Daily Wire observes the anti-gun efforts in Virginia are being backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, founder of the far-left Everytown for Gun Safety anti-gun group, which outspent the NRA in Virginia during the 2018 elections.
Northam outlined his anti-gun agenda during a November Cabinet meeting, in which he proposed “universal background checks, banning the sale of [semi-automatic firearms] and high-capacity magazines, restoring the law that limits purchases to one gun a month, and a red flag law that would empower a court to temporarily remove a gun from a person deemed to be a risk to himself or others,” the Washington Post reports.
Unfortunately, Northam was not merely making empty promises. SB 16 and SB 18 propose to ban semi-automatic “assault weapons,” raise the minimum purchase age to 21, and impose background checks for private firearm transfers. SB 64 strengthens current state law against so-called “paramilitary” activity by vaguely declaring an individual to be guilty of unlawful activity if he or she has the “intent” to intimidate a person or group. Democrats have also proposed unconstitutional “red flag” laws that would permit courts to remove firearms from any individuals deemed as a danger to society or to themselves.
When asked specifically about gun confiscation, Northam responded “that’s something I’m working [on] with our secretary of public safety.”
The backlash against Northam’s agenda has been swift and immediate, with 91 percent of the state declaring itself a pro-gun “sanctuary. On Monday, Fauquier County and Charles City County became the latest to declare themselves “sanctuary counties.”
The Daily Wire reported on December 20, “More than 100 cities, towns, and counties have passed resolutions in preparation for Democrats taking over the state who had indicated a desire to confiscate semi-automatic firearms from law-abiding citizens.”
Two more counties in Virginia — Chesterfield and Essex — have discussed sanctuary status, but have not yet taken action.
According to the Washington Examiner, the language adopted by the Second Amendment sanctuary movement indicates that police will not enforce anti-gun laws.
And while Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring contends the sanctuary statuses have no legal standing, University of Virginia professor Rich Shragger told WSLS, “There is some room for local police departments and local officers to use their discretion with the laws.”
The New American’s Luis Miguel reported on Monday that a county sheriff has even vowed to deputize citizens if Democrats continue to infringe on Second Amendment rights.
“Every Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney in Virginia will see the consequences if our General Assembly passes further unnecessary gun restrictions,” Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins said. “I plan to properly screen and deputize thousands of our law-abiding citizens to protect their constitutional right to own firearms.”
Jenkins notes the rift between the pro-gun localities and the anti-Second Amendment Richmond is evidential of the “urban-rural divide,” adding the sanctuary movement has not been heavily pushed by the NRA, “as everyone might expect,” but by average Virginians who do not feel heard or represented by their elected leaders.
“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,” Jenkins opined, “… 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.”
The Examiner reports the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a state-based grassroots organization focused on preserving Second Amendment rights, has largely led the campaign against Northam’s efforts.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been doing this for over 20 years,” Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League told the Free Beacon regarding the sanctuary movement’s growth. “It’s a sleeping giant that had been pretty much not paying attention to politics, and now they’re awake, and now they’re flooding these sanctuary county hearings. Flooding them.”