In 1775 the Redcoats marched to seize colonists’ arms at Lexington and Concord and the Americans repulsed them. The inhabitants of Boston were ordered to turn in their guns, which were seized by British General Gage. The Continental Congress cited this perfidy in the Declaration of Causes of Taking Up Arms.
Nothing like that will happen today. [Virginia] counties that have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries make clear their dedication to use all lawful means to protect their constitutional rights. Law-enforcement authorities have scarce resources and must choose how to allocate them. Work to solve murders and robberies, or track down gun owners because they have rifles with those oh-so-deadly pistol grips or adjustable stocks? That’s a no-brainer.
But those who support filling the prisons with law-abiding citizens just because they have, for instance, a rifle that will also shoot flares—which is nothing more than a distress signal—should remember our history. The Second Amendment was adopted to prevent exactly those kinds of infringements.
A Second Amendment sanctuary shouldn’t be any more controversial than a First Amendment sanctuary. Imagine if the [Governor Ralph Northam] signed a law banning books he didn’t like, then sent police to search houses to confiscate them and arrest their owners, who would be charged with a felony. He could then have a book burning alongside of his massive gun melting. Sanctuary that, anyone?
The Bill of Rights was intended to inform the ordinary citizens of their rights. Its meaning is not a monopoly of the governmental entities whose powers it was intended to limit. Supporters of Second Amendment sanctuaries are only following this historical understanding.
– Stephen P. Halbrook in Second Amendment Sanctuaries Started in 1774