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Franklin County: The Latest In Virginia to Say ‘No New Gun Control Laws’

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Courtesy Jeff Hulbert
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The Virginia Citizens’ Defense League has been doing a stellar job convincing counties around the state to pass resolutions saying they won’t adopt new gun laws. Franklin County joined the No New Gun Laws club on August 18, 2020 meaning the number of counties agreeing to it is nearing a couple dozen. Not bad, VCDL. Nice work.

The Franklin News Post reported on it, saying:

The Virginia Citizens Defense League and its members are encouraging localities to pass the resolution to counteract new gun legislation that went into effect July 1. The new law gives localities the authority to ban guns in certain public places.

It was also the VCDL and its members that pushed for localities in the state, including Franklin County, to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Brien Dyer attended Tuesday’s meeting to speak in favor of the resolution. He said the new gun law would create a patchwork of different gun laws across the state that would be difficult for responsible gun owners to follow.

But even though they passed the resolution it isn’t exactly permanent (is anything in politics ever truly permanent, though?):

Blackwater District representative Ronald Mitchell read the resolution before it was put to a vote. The resolution stated that Franklin County does not intend on infringing on the rights of its citizens and does not want to discourage travel to the county that could be inhibited with new gun laws.

“The Franklin County Board of Supervisors wishes to express its continued opposition to any law that would unconstitutionally restrict the rights of citizens of, and visitors to Franklin County to keep and bear arms,” Mitchell read from the resolution.

While the resolution was passed unanimously on Tuesday, Snow Creek District representative and Chairman Leland Mitchell said the resolution was non-binding. While the current board has no plans to pass any gun laws, he said future boards could decide not to follow the resolution.

With what’s coming we need more cities, counties, townships — whatever — agreeing to become Second Amendment sanctuaries. A lot of areas seem to be doing the opposite — cough Washington and California cough — but it’s encouraging to see some taking steps toward protecting Second Amendment rights.

Here’s the deal, though. Can you really complain about the state of gun rights in your home state if you aren’t actively fighting to protect them? If you’re expecting someone else to do all the dirty work, invest all their time and money, but aren’t willing to do your part…sit down and shut up.

Part of being a responsible gun owner is doing your part to further Second Amendment rights. It might be an unpopular opinion, but there you have it. What have you done to protect and further Second Amendment rights lately?

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  1. VCDL > NRA, and their headquarters are in the same county in VA.

    Recommend joining and supporting your state’s Citizen’s Defense League or equivalent. SAF, GOA (and others) are great as well, however, are national, and thus not as pro-active at the city/county/state levels.

    • State wins. Even if the local Sheriff refuses to enforce gun laws the state can act independently and enforce the law. Much in the same way marijuana is legal in several states yet the Federal Government can still enforce Federal laws prohibiting the manufacture, sale, use and transport of it. So it’s basically a game of chicken and who blinks first. Same example works for all the rioters and looters in major Liberal cities. The Federal Government can still enforce the law even if local politicians and law enforcement do not.

      • If the sheriff of the county says otherwise federal law enforcement cannot act in his jurisdiction. I would imagine that would also apply to state law enforcement if he so chose. Remember, there are sheriffs ready to deputize as many as are willing to fight tyranny if it comes to their county. Despite what you may think the government governs at the consent of the people. And if they choose not to be governed by those who would enslave them they will back off or get their you know whats handed to them.

        • Sorry but unfortunately you are wrong. As affirmed by the Supreme Court. Federal Law supersedes state law or local law. A sheriff has no jurisdiction over Federal law enforcement. He may ask as a courtesy to be involved in a particular operation but, the Feds have No obligation to allow or notify the Sheriff’s office. Just ask Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio who had to be pardoned by President Trump. In order to not go to prison for refusing to follow Federal Law. Even in Texas if that’s where you are from. Can’t say about Mexico if you are from there. Although I believe in Mexico the Cartel’s hold sway.

        • Darkman doesn’t agree with you. I know for a fact that in Texas where I live, there have been state troopers kicked out of counties by local sheriffs.

        • He wasn’t talking about the law. He was talking about the sheriff and his neighbors, all armed, telling the state or federal officers to leave, and being prepared to shoot them if they do not. Laws get changed really quick about then. As witnessed by those marijuana laws being openly violated for going on 20 years now, right? You need to restrict your laws to something which is supported by the people. Not a few of them, but near all of them.

        • I don’t think the local sheriff can tell the Feds to go pound sand. He can, however refuse to cooperate with the Feds and State LE for that matter. The State and Feds just don’t have the manpower to cover the area. Lack of cooperation is a major road block which was why the lefties in the VA state legislature were so hacked off when several counties said they wouldn’t go along with the anti-freedom laws they were pushing.

  2. “Won’t adopt new gun laws” does not a “sanctuary” make, any more than a slave-state resolving not to enact any new fugitive laws would make it a free state.

    A “sanctuary” county would be one that resolved not to enforce state and/or federal gun laws. I have the good fortune to live in one.

      • I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it sure helps. Practically all oppression and injustice is local. It always amazes me how, despite the fact that gun laws are perfect examples of this, gun guys seem less aware than others.

      • Trooper still needs probable cause. And if he issues a ticket, the county court can toss it out.

  3. Show me a county or a state that says “No, we will not enforce your unconstitutional law and if you try, we will arrest the agents you send”.

    When we have that sort of response, that is when we will be talking about real “Sanctuary” for the Second Amendment.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for it!

    • enuf,

      I agree completely.

      It is that second part — that counties/states will arrest any government law enforcement officer/agent who attempts to enforce blatantly unconstitutional laws — that is necessary for a county/state to be a true sanctuary.

      I heard about a situation (in New Mexico I believe) where trees on federal land were too numerous and/or too close to a town and created a huge risk of the entire town burning down in the event of a significant forest fire. Local people publicly stated that they were going to create a firebreak for their town, which required removing some of the trees on the federal land. Of course fedzilla objected and sent agents (Forest Service?) to stop/arrest people from creating the firebreak. When those agents stepped forward to arrest the workers, the local Sheriff stepped up to the plate to arrest those agents. Upon seeing that the Sheriff was serious, those federal agents backed down and allowed locals to create the firebreak. That is the sort of thing that we need in these so-called Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties.

      • I too agree and that’s what it will take to stop the un Constitutional power grab short of a second revolution,or that may just open the ball to such.

      • Another example … years back I was on a wilderness SAR team. We worked with a county sheriff (not “For”, but “With”). The USFS had a leadership change and called a big conference of agencies to explain the new way of doing things. No more unlocking gates for 4×4 access to SAR personnel. No more clearing of brush to land helos in the wild places. No more flying of helos without permission from the USFS. The various lands adjacent to designated “Wilderness” would be managed as wilderness. All SAR operations needed approval to set foot on USFS managed lands. A maximum time limit would be set for a SAR operation by USFS directive.

        It went on and on like that.

        A lieutenant in the Sheriff’s office, in charge of special operations which included SAR, stood up and explained things. The SAR teams would go where they needed to go, using what methods and resources SAR leadership saw fit. Helo’s would fly as needed, as low or high as needed and any time day or night so long as the flight crews saw the need and considered conditions safe to fly. If gates are found with locks we lacked keys to, those locks would be cut. If gates were welded closed, those welds would be cut.

        USFS boss pointed out that the Lt. was talking about violating Federal law.

        An SO captain then stood up, stated the Lt was correct, that he had the policy of the county sheriff stated correctly. That any interference in life saving operations would not be tolerated and that the SO had all the rule of law, the manpower and firearms needed to enforce the public safety.

        It was a remarkable scene. No media present, everyone kept it quiet. We had no further trouble from the new leadership of the USFS district during my remaining years there.

      • Speaking of trees, I personally know someone who once owned a large parcel of land here in SoCal on which there were many trees. I visited his property several times. Due to zoning and certain regulations to protect the “natural state” of the area, the U.S. Forest Service forbade any cutting of trees, while the Fire Marshall strongly recommended that he proceed with a wide setback from the house on the property. Long story short, he believed the Federal agency had superior jurisdiction (it did not), and one of our infamous wildfires eventually burned through his canyon and nearly his entire property. A few months later when the rains came, mudslides destroyed his home and forced him out. He sued the U.S. Forest Service for the value of the property…and won.

  4. And this is why local elections are I M P O R T A N T. You will only remain a sanctuary county for as long as those currently in charge of the county remain in office.

  5. Half measures like this are pointless and won’t solve the problem. The council admitted as much. All it does is get VCDL off their back for little while, and maybe buy a few votes next election. People need to get serious about this issue and quit playing political games.

  6. What have you done to protect and further Second Amendment rights lately?

    Probably more than most firearm owners. I have attended 5 of the last 6 annual Second Amendment rallies in my state capital.

    I am a member of one of my state’s firearm advocacy organizations that is actively suing to repeal MAJOR gun infringement laws.

    I have donated extra money to that organization, above and beyond membership dues, to fund the lawsuits.

    I have voted in every primary and general election as long as I can remember and always voted for pro-Second Amendment candidates.

    I have taken multiple people to a friend’s backyard shooting range to introduce them to firearms, train them, and help them decide which firearm/s to buy.

    I advocate for responsible firearm ownership and possession to family, friends, neighbors, and anyone else who is interested in listening (and probably several people who were/are not interested in listening as well!).

    I own, possess, and use firearms in a responsible manner which advances an excellent public image for firearm ownership.

    Note: about the only thing I can think of that I fail to do is call/write my state and federal representatives. I used to call/write my state and federal representatives until I learned that they ignore my queries and it was a waste of time.

  7. Even Ca, which is a Sanctuary State for illegal aliens will not go as far as to arrest ICE agents. They may work to circumvent them, shuffle prisoners out of their way, etc(not give them any help), but they do NOT arrest them.

  8. “If you’re expecting someone else to do all the dirty work, invest all their time and money, but aren’t willing to do your part…sit down and shut up”

    Not trying to flame, but isn’t this author the same person that recently said she would vote blue no matter who?

  9. Comment awaiting moderation. Apparently you aren’t allowed to question the wisdom of the author.

  10. Keep in mind, these resolutions are just symbolic and carry no weight, just like all the “sanctuary” county stuff. Don’t believe me, go and try to sell or buy a gun private party without a background check or buy more than one handgun.

    • I have no standing in VA, so probably will be ignored. But I can buy any number of firearms privately without a background check, or even a bill of sale. The State of MS has zero involvement in private sales. No different than buying a lawn chair at a yard sale, and in fact I have bought guns at yard sales.

      • That’s why MS is the destination, best thing running that isn’t across the continent from family. Perfect? No, but good enough. If this hellhole will ever extract it’s claws so I can leave.

    • Franklin County resident here. Yes, it’s symbolic, but it’s backed up by Sheriff Overton, who is a gun rights ally. He spoke at the sanctuary resolution and knows who he works for. As for the laws currently on the books, no, I won’t be doing any WalMart parking lot sales for a while.

      To you Mississippians, good for you, but we have to stop running to the ever-shrinking free corners of the Union. The VCDL does great work, but we’re up against both the Democrat and Republican parties — the (R) because we keep running candidates who can’t win. I appreciate everything Amanda Chase has done for us gun owners, but there’s no way she can beat McAuliffe in a statewide election. We have to get smart, and by “we” I mean Franklin County and the rest of rural Virginia. We’re going to likely lose our (R) US Congressional delegate because we ousted an incumbent libertarian in the primaries in favor of Liberty U’s athletic director. Falwell may play well down here, but the very association is poison in Charlottesville, which is also in our district.

      That said, the likelihood of getting the two statehouse chambers and the governor’s mansion all (R) is low, and that’s what’s needed to repeal UBC here. So it’s possible we need to mount some sort of quiet noncompliance. If we can ever have an (R) AG again, he could “de-prioritize” arrests for private gun sales, same as Herring did with pot. I don’t like going that direction, but it’s a tool in the truck. Like I said, running to MS or AL is foolishness. This administration has shown how activist we have to be.

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