Area Republicans want Shenandoah County leaders to designate the locality as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” ahead of Democrats taking control of the Virginia General Assembly in 2020.
State Democrats have indicated they plan to push legislation aimed at tackling gun-related violence.
District 3 Supervisor-elect Bradley Pollack and other Republicans plan to ask the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to consider following several other localities in claiming Second Amendment Sanctuary status. Any such resolution adopted would not be legally binding. The counties of Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte and Pittsylvania have adopted resolutions.
Shenandoah County Republican Committee Chairman Randy Gilbert responded by email earlier this week to questions about the push.
“The SCRC membership (and the entire Republican party) are strong advocates of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution,” Gilbert states. “The new Democrat majority in Richmond, supported by an anti-2nd Amendment Governor, has already announced an avalanche of frivolous and unconstitutional anti-firearms bills to be proposed in Richmond over the coming weeks and months.
“We are simply mobilizing to join over 300 other US counties, cities and towns that have enacted similar Resolutions that restrict local funding for unconstitutional gun-grabbing measures, and defend our unquestioned Constitutional right to bear arms for sport and self-defense,” Gilbert adds.
The Shenandoah County Democratic Committee does not meet until Dec. 4 to discuss the proposed GOP resolution, Chairwoman Katherine Morrison said by phone Wednesday.
“But our formal position is that we believe in promoting public safety through laws that protect people from gun violence,” Morrison said.
Morrison went on to speak about the matter not as a representative for the committee or the party and read from a letter she sent to members of the Board of Supervisors.
“It’s ridiculously premature to make a proposal like this before the General Assembly has even met,’” Morrison said, reading from her letter. “The resolution asks the board to authorize the breaking of the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and would put law-enforcement officers in a vulnerable situation, legally. The Constitution clearly supports a well-regulated militia, not the impeded ownership of all kinds of weapons by persons who may or may not be able to use them responsibly.’”
Morrison commented further on the matter.
“The other thing I would say is I think there’s an irony that the same people who went ballistic over the idea of ‘sanctuary cities’ now want ‘sanctuary counties,’” Morrison said, referring to localities that decided not to assist federal law enforcement agencies in taking undocumented migrants into custody.
Morrison said she expects some area Democrats to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.
Pollack has asked District 3 Supervisor Richard Walker to put the pro-Second Amendment resolution on the board meeting agenda, Gilbert said.
“It is my understanding that Supervisor-Elect Brad Pollack intends to be a strong leader on the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors,” Gilbert states. “I believe this is Mr. Pollack's way of acknowledging the overwhelming support he received from law-abiding firearm owners throughout the County in his winning campaign.”
Many members of the county GOP intend to support the adoption of such a resolution and plan to contact supervisors to ask for their support, Gilbert states. The county GOP committee does not meet again until Dec. 12, and members cannot formally approve a resolution it could send to the Board of Supervisors prior to Nov. 26, Gilbert explained.
“However, we expect many pro-2nd Amendment County residents - Republicans, Democrats and Independents - to attend this upcoming BOS meeting to express their support,” Gilbert states. “I have urged all interested parties to attend the upcoming BOS meeting and ensure that the Resolution is fairly received and scheduled for discussion and action by the Supervisors.”