This sounds like our betters at the Washington Post are whistling past the graveyard. Not also the scare quotes around the word sanctuaries in the editorial title.
Sheriffs and other law enforcement officers are sworn to uphold and enforce duly enacted laws. For a sheriff to refuse to enforce a protective order handed down by a court would be “an unspeakable betrayal” of his duties, Mark R. Herring, Virginia’s attorney general, told us.
Mr. Herring (D) and other Virginia officials doubt local law enforcement officials will go so far as to refuse a court order. But some localities in the Old Dominion, such as Tazewell County in the state’s southwest, have adopted absolutist-sounding resolutions vowing to defy “any act ordering the confiscation of firearms” except in the case of a felony convict or an individual found to be mentally incompetent.
That resolution and others like it were often adopted after swarms of gun-rights advocates jammed meeting rooms of local boards of supervisors. Some politicians may have played to the crowds without giving the measures a great deal of thought. Now would be a good time to reflect. The red-flag laws, like other gun-safety measures heading toward enactment in Virginia’s legislature, enjoy broad popular support, according to numerous polls. But whether they are popular or not, statewide or locally, is not relevant to a sheriff’s obligation to follow and enforce the law.
– Washington Post Editorial Board in Virginia’s Second Amendment ‘sanctuaries’ can’t ignore new gun control laws