california second amendment sanctuary city
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The Second Amendment sanctuary city movement continues. 

The city of Needles, California has become one of the most recent local governments to proclaim itself a Second Amendment sanctuary city. The gun sanctuary movement began in Illinois a couple of years ago and has spread like wildfire. Now the Los Angeles Times has profiled the man behind this latest California city that’s said “enough is enough” when it comes to they state’s crazy gun laws.

The big city folks from L.A. can’t really fathom why anyone wouldn’t revel in California’s strict gun control laws. No matter that The Golden State’s gun regulations do nothing to slow criminals or mass killers (see Gilroy).

So the LA Times sent a reporter out to the hinterlands to profile Tim Terral, the man behind the Needles city ordinance. But, confounding their expectations and attempts to marginalize gun owners, the Times’ reporter didn’t find a redneck hillbilly missing half his teeth holding a jug of moonshine.

Instead, the reporter found an intelligent, thoughtful man. The Times piece opens with this:

The blistering sun hung high above the barren landscape, 118 degrees of scatter-the-critters hot, as Tim Terral loaded a magazine into his 9-millimeter pistol.

He narrowed his eyes, fixing his gaze on a target before a succession of pops cut through the silence. Bull’s-eye.

Satisfied, Terral wiped a bead of sweat off his brow and cocked his head to the side, a coy smile spreading across his slender face.

“I don’t miss much,” he crowed.

Today, his attention was focused on a small shooting target. But Terral has his eye on a larger one: California’s tough gun control laws.

Last month, other city leaders followed the Needles councilman’s suggestion and declared this town along the Colorado River a “sanctuary city” for the 2nd Amendment.

Oh noes!  A “sanctuary city” for guns and ammo?  Clutch those worry beads!

The collision of liberal and conservative buzzwords was meant to be a poke in the eye to the Golden State — the heart of the liberal “resistance” against a president voters in Needles overwhelmingly supported in 2016. And likely will again in 2020. This conservative small town is part of California, but also quite apart from it. Those big-city politicians making laws in Sacramento, many people here are convinced, don’t give one damn about a place like Needles.

In the coming months, city officials hope to somehow cajole the state to allow Needles and possibly other border towns to be exempt from rules on purchasing ammunition, which would allow people here to buy ammo from out of state, and honor concealed carry permits for people who have obtained them outside California.

“For so long we’ve had to deal with the laws as they are,” said Mayor Jeff Williams. “It was time to stand up and say, ‘Enough.’”

If local police refuse to enforce the unconstitutional edicts from Sacramento, they won’t need the California legislature to allow them to opt out of gun control laws. The same goes for local prosecutors.

California Second Amendment sanctuary city needles
Courtesy City of Needles

Needles and other small towns in rural California aren’t just in this for the liberty, but for economic reasons as well.

Across the Colorado River in Arizona, towns are friendlier to businesses, and boast lower taxes and looser regulations on many consumer items, including firearms, Needles officials argue. This puts the California town at a severe economic disadvantage, Williams said.

Funny how less regulation and lower taxes tends to facilitate vigorous economic activity. As for legally buying guns and ammo within the state of California, Needles residents have to drive a long way for any of that.

Another contention is that it’s illegal for Californians to purchase ammunition in other states. The closest in-state gun shops to Needles are 100 miles to the south in Blythe or more than 140 miles away in Barstow.

“It’s just ludicrous to have to go that far to buy a bullet,” Williams said.

Read the LA Times story for the rest of the story. To his credit, the reporter does a decent job of covering the story fairly.

Frankly, just the fact that a mainstream media publication like the LA Times covered the story shows how times have changed. Even the mainstream media can’t ignore the successes of the Second Amendment sanctuary city movement. Even if many of the sanctuaries are more symbolic than substantive. So far.

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  1. Good!

    California just exemplifies at the state level, what is going on all over the nation. That would be “Government for the Urban Centers”

    The states and fed as well only draft laws with regards to what the urban centers want. They care nothing whatsoever for the rural areas.

    Never have, never will.

    Not sure what solution for that would be, but if we cant find one, we’re only going to get more of this with the accompanying crackdown from “on high” against these rural towns.

    • From the article:

      “The big city folks from L.A. can’t really fathom why anyone wouldn’t revel in California’s strict gun control laws.”

      No, that is not accurate. They know EXACTLY that many people aren’t happy with them. They know because we challenge all their absurd and unconstitutional laws in court. Governor Screwsom has 2A supporters in his sights whenever he comes out with another gun control idea. They know that God-fearing, income earning, tax paying residents have been leaving in droves for years as things get worse and worse. They know that increasing numbers of Californians are choosing to practice civil disobedience (the same as Newsom’s own #RESIST rallying cry against conservatives when he was campaigning for the governorship). They know that numerous Sheriffs have been meeting with each other to determine how to form a resistance coalition, similar to what LE Depts did in WA state over I-1639.

      They know. They know very well.

    • The only peaceful solution is the splitting up of the USA into smaller nations and city-states, all with the governments they wish to elect. The Nation is simply too diversified and the opposing groups will never again be united on any issue. Vote on it county by county, dissolve the outdated federal government and let people choose their own future. Auction off our military hardware to the highest bidders or divide it up per capita to the new nations.

      • “…but in order to decide questions of justice and in order to distribute the offices according to merit it is necessary for the citizens to know each other’s personal characters, since where this does not happen to be the case the business of electing officials and trying law-suits is bound to go badly; haphazard decision is unjust in both matters and this must obviously prevail in an excessively numerous community. Also in such a community it is easy for foreigners and resident aliens to usurp the rights of citizenship, for the excessive number of population makes it not difficult to escape detection.” – Aristotle

    • Almost as if they draft laws off of what the majority of people vote for. Is there a name for that sort of thing?

  2. The “local prosecutors” are basically required to go in to Barstow, CA. Which is about a 2 hour drive away.

    I used to work in Barstow and they’d hold court sessions every so often in Needles, for minor things, but anything big those people are usually hauled in from a long, long distance away.

    Needles has always been a bit of a distant city because the only thing maintaining law and order out there are the sheriff’s, but there isn’t much that actually goes on to begin with other than a whole lot of drunk driving and other drug related stuff.

  3. This is why the founders put the Electoral College in the Constitution. Large populations of ignorant, easily mislead, low information and low IQ people are easy to control. This is especially true when the politicians claim those rural people are just red necks who want to take away their entitlements.

  4. In Washington, Republic declared itself a “Sanctuary City” and now police chief Loren Culp is running for Governor.

  5. The State undoubtedly contends that it is illegal for its resident to purchase out of State but they will lose that one in Court. The State does not control its border for the interstate sale of goods. If the product in question were illegal in the State then they would have case for illegal possession. States are permitted to impose restrictions on the out of State purchase of alcohol but that is authorized under the 21st Amendment. So suck it up California gun grabbers and watch people make ammo runs to other States.

    • Supporting links, please. I’ve never read that CA declares that its residents cannot engage in legal commerce outside its borders. The only thing it can attempt to enforce is its own laws within state boundaries.

      • The State claims that it would be illegal to circumvent their ammunition backgrounds checks by going across state lines and purchasing more than 50 rounds. They can claim all they want but that doesn’t make it so.

        • Nope, not true. It’s legal to purchase whatever the outside authority allows, within the jurisdiction of that authority. Once you cross the border to re-enter CA jurisdiction, you become subject to it own authority. In this case, you can purchase 100 rds of ammo elsewhere and bring back a maximum of 50 rds (under certain allowed circumstances, not as a general rule).

        • Is it the purchasing out of state, or the importing into CA that they seek to control?

          Either way, Interstate Commerce for the win, I’d say.

          But I don’t think anybody has successfully contested long standing laws against importing more than two cartons of cigarettes from out of state…

        • Fun Fact #573:

          Per the new law, a non-resident may “import” as much as he/she wishes when entering CA, and may even gift some to others (max 500 rds), as long as no money is involved and therefore isn’t “commerce”.

          A resident, however, may not “import” except under limited circumstances, and even then is subject to a 50-rd max quantity. The frequency of entries across the border isn’t specified, so this is a real gray area. Is it per instance (each crossing), or per diem, or what? In the strictest reading of the text, a friend from Nevada or Arizona (forget Oregon, as Portland now worships Sacramento) who regularly visits CA on business or pleasure may bring in unlimited quantities, and gift up to 500 rds to each CA buddy. Each time. And each buddy might simply cancel out their out-of-state friend’s ammo expenses by giving him free room, food, gasoline, advice, etc. Without any written agreements to whit, of course. And it’d all be within the parameters of this new AB 63 law.

          Of course, this will be eventually addressed as a “loophole” and closed at some point.


          “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
          -– Patrick Henry

          Hey, TTAG, why have I been asked all day to go through CAPTCHA hoops every time I comment? Is this a new policy? I’m writing under the same name, email, IP address, and MAC address as always. What gives?

        • “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
          -– Patrick Henry

          Interestingly, some of us post similar things from our own thoughts and in our own words but are dismissed as ignoring optics and even being Keyboard Kommandos. Funny how that works.

          At the end of the day, force, and nothing less, will retain liberty. Or, liberty will be lost by men reluctant to jealously guard that jewel of life. Without liberty, a man has nothing and is nothing.

    • The door was opened in the Wayfair v. South Dakota case decided by SCOTUS. They completely ignored the commerce clause.

      • Case does not apply. Wayfair v SD is about taxing goods that you take possession of in your home State and not where you take possession in the State of purchase.

        • It opens the door so it does apply indirectly if SCOTUS decides an individual state can do that especially ignoring the commerce clause what else will they end up allowing.

        • No it doesn’t. It only involves taxation of goods taken in possession in the State of residence. You are in their jurisdiction. This decision has no bearing on your purchase of goods and services when you are in a different jurisdiction.

          You also must consider that law levies the requirement for a background check on the retailer. It should be obvious that laws of California do not reach into other States even for California residents.

        • I respectfully disagree It does open the door because the commerce clause was ignored by the highest court in the land.

    • Seems like the opportunity is ripe for Mr. Terral, or somebody, to open up a gun shop or ammo dump in Needles. Surely there are some entrepreneurs there.

  6. Good for the town of Needles but they don’t even have a gun store there? What kind of Second Amendment sanctuary city doesn’t have a gun store or a place to buy ammo? Lol. It would be nice if they actually got a gun store and sold off roster handguns. I’d have to take a trip and spend money there myself.

  7. Ironic the sanctuary movement started in ILLinois. I just got back from Indiana(a mile away) and purchased 140 rounds of American Eagle 223 for $5.59 per box(Blythe’s in Griffith,IN). Also filled my tank much more cheaply in Griffith,IN. NO ILL goons were waiting at the border😄 ILL and Commiefornia won’t enforce these laws! He!! BOTH states are bueno buddy states packed with needy illegals…defy away!

    • I went to NV after July 1. Never saw any LE, and was never stopped anywhere along the way back home to SoCal.

      You see, they can’t just stop you. They have to have probable cause. The rare exception to this is a DUI checkpoint, which has (in my opinion, erroneously) been upheld as legal in courts.

  8. This is a great idea. Maybe we’ll get sanctuary states when president AOC bans gun ownership 10 years from now.

    • How does it protect meth labs? Can you show me that part in the article? I didn’t see anything in their ordinance so stating. And furthermore, do you really believe that those cooking meth will abide by gun laws any more that they do by drug & hazmat laws? Seriously?
      Thank you for making the point that shittycity slickers don’t give a rat’s pitootie about people who live in the desert. I moved to Kingman after have lived 50 years in SoCal. Riverside, OC, San Berdoo, Victorville, Palmdale: Best act of desperation I ever made.

    • I had to laugh out loud when Bill said we have free speech all over this country. That amendment is under fire just like the 2nd. There are areas in America where you are literally stoned or attacked for free speech.


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