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Second Amendment sanctuary declared

At its Dec. 9 meeting, all six present members of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors voted to declare the county a Second Amendment sanctuary. District One Supervisor Robert “Bobby” Jones was unable to attend and therefore did not vote on the resolution.

The sanctuary means that Buckingham county will not expend resources to enforce certain gun control measures perceived as violative of the Second Amendment. The decision comes after many similar resolutions were passed in other counties following a new Democratic majority in the General Assembly that gun supporters fear may put their right to bear arms in jeopardy.

Both county residents and state activists gathered Monday night in preparation for the vote. Members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League stood at the door to hand out pamphlets and large orange stickers that read “Guns SAVE Lives.” Hundreds of individuals packed the administration complex as Board Chairman Donnie Bryan read aloud the resolution declaring Buckingham a Second Amendment sanctuary.

The full version of the resolution is as follows:

WHEREAS, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed;” and

WHEREAS, Article I, Section 13 of the Constitution of Virginia provides “that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power”; and

WHEREAS, certain legislation introduced in the 2019 session of the Virginia General Assembly, and certain legislation introduced in the current session of the United States Congress could have the effect of infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors is concerned about the passage of any bill containing language which unconstitutionally infringes upon the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Buckingham County; and

WHEREAS, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors wishes to express its deep commitment to the rights of all citizens of Buckingham County to keep and bear arms; and

WHEREAS, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors wishes to express its intent to stand as a Sanctuary County for Second Amendment rights and to oppose, within the limits of the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia, any efforts to unconstitutionally restrict the constitutional rights of the citizens to keep and bear arms.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE BUCKINGHAM BOARD OF SUPERVISORS hereby expresses its intent to uphold the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Buckingham County and hereby expresses its intent that public funds of the County not be used to unconstitutionally restrict Second Amendment rights or to aid in the unconstitutional restriction of the rights under the Second Amendment of the citizens of Buckingham County to keep and bear arms; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors hereby declares its intent to oppose unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, and that the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors hereby declares the County a “Second Amendment Sanctuary”; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution shall be forwarded by the County staff to the Governor of Virginia, to Virginia legislators who represent Buckingham County, and to the Virginia Association of Counties.

District 6 Supervisor Joe Chambers made a motion to pass the resolution. The crowd erupted with loud cheering and applause after the vote was deemed unanimous.

“I made the motion to pass it because I feel that we should support our citizens,” said Chambers the following morning. “I had no problem with it, so I made the motion to pass the Second Amendment rights sanctuary. I thought it would be good for the county and the citizens.”

Chambers also suggested at the board meeting that the county send a letter to Governor Ralph S. Northam expressing the county’s opposition of possible Second Amendment restrictions.

After the resolution had been passed, several individuals spoke about their happiness regarding the board’s decision during the public comments portion of the meeting.

“I do appreciate you all following through on the Second Amendment sanctuary,” said District Six resident Jason Gwatowsky. “… We cannot stress enough that while this resolution may not be a binding thing of such that has any teeth, it does send a very clear message that we’re done playing and we’re not putting up with it anymore.”

District Five citizen Cam Edwards, editor at bearingarms.com also spoke about his joy regarding the board’s decision, as well as his frustrations with the current political climate of the state and his move from Northern Virginia to Buckingham County. “Buckingham County was like a breath of fresh air with a whiff of gunpowder,” he stated. “… I do believe that now is the time to send a message to our lawmakers in Richmond that our right to keep and bear arms will be acknowledged and protected here in Buckingham County.”

There were those that expressed discontent with the board’s decision to pass the resolution. Quinn Robinson of District Four stated, “As we learned and we learn every four years or so, elections have consequences and the consequences are change, and you may not be able to keep up with it or agree with it, but that’s the way it works. And it’s not a matter of rebelling and swearing not to obey … It’s unfortunate to me that we went ahead and this county passed this.”

“I want to tell you that I am very disappointed that you all passed this,” said District Three resident Marie Flowers. “… The only thing that I think you need to have guns for is a rabid fox in your yard.”