second amendment sanctuaries
Map courtesy of sanctuarycounties.com, and used with their permission.

by Lee Williams

There are few stories the mainstream media enjoys more than “trend” stories.

Whether it’s plant-based fake meat, live-streamed workouts, celebrity podcasts or TicTok and other new apps, the media revels in reporting the latest trends that are sweeping the country – at least most of the time.

However, if the trend involves guns or the Constitution – especially the Second Amendment – don’t look for stories anytime soon, even if it’s a viral national trend.

The mainstream media has missed one of the biggest trend stories ever – the massive surge in Second Amendment sanctuaries at the state, county and local levels.

The number of states, counties and cities declaring themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries is skyrocketing.

As it stands now, more than 46% of all counties in the United States have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries, according to Noah Davis of sanctuarycounties.com and its companion site constitutionalsanctuaries.com.

Davis has been tracking the movement since its inception – tallying the growing numbers every single day.

“There are 1,459 Second Amendment sanctuary counties, out of a total of 3,144 counties, but I’m still tallying them right now,” Davis told me Wednesday. “I’ve got a bit of a backlog. I’m working on updating my national map, but they’re happening so fast, and I’m just one person in Virginia.”

The 1,459 includes counties located in the 10 states that have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries, he explained.

Davis, too, has seen little interest and major errors in the media’s coverage of the Second Amendment sanctuary movement.

“There have been people writing about it, but most refer to an article that was published in the Trace more than a year ago,” he said. “That story indicated there were only 400 Second Amendment sanctuary counties, but that number is completely out of date.

“This is frustrating to me,” he said.

Davis explained that he was not politically active until the Democrats took control of the Virginia state government.

“They started proposing laws that would have made many Virginians like myself felons overnight,” he said. “I started looking for ways to fight back.”

Within a few months, he said, more than 95% of Virginia’s counties had declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, and then the movement was copied in Kentucky and Michigan.

“After that it just took off,” he said.

As the movement grew, Facebook intervened. Second Amendment sanctuary groups with hundreds of thousands of members were shuttered by Facebook in Michigan, Georgia and elsewhere.

“They realized we were being too effective,” Davis said.

Noah Davis Second Amendment Sanctuary
Noah Davis, center, after earning “Distinguished Graduate” at the Front Sight Nevada 4 Day Pistol Course. Photo courtesy Noah Davis.

Davis’ numbers are staggering.

You’d be hard-pressed to get half of America to agree that beer is good, or that steak should be served medium rare. Yet millions of Americans have forced their elected officials to erect a legislative wall around their communities to protect their gun rights.

Despite the skyrocketing trend, stories about the Second Amendment sanctuary movement are scarce, unless they’re anti-gun.

Vice news recently wrote a hit piece about the sanctuary movement: “These ‘Gun Sanctuary States’ Want to Destroy Biden’s Gun Control Plans.”

But even Vice couldn’t conceal the effectiveness of the movement.

“In the month of April alone, six states—Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and West Virginia—became so-called gun sanctuaries. But the specifics of the bills range widely, from political grandstanding, to having the potential to trigger a nasty constitutional showdown,” Vice reported. “At least seven more states, including Texas, have meanwhile introduced legislation proposing Second Amendment sanctuary protections. Four states—Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, and Wyoming—passed gun protection laws during the Obama administration.”

Language

Most Second Amendment sanctuary bills are simple. They declare that the municipal, county or state government simply won’t recognize or enforce any federal law that infringes upon the Second Amendment.

Many of these laws bar local officials from participating in any federal enforcement. Some add civil and criminal penalties.

A few would criminalize the actions of federal agents if they try to enforce federal gun laws, but many say this is a step too far, as it could spark costly lawsuits from the U.S. Justice Department.

Pushback

While some gun control proponents have spoken out against the Second Amendment sanctuary movement, they have not been as vocal as they have about other advances in gun rights.

The Giffords director of litigation, Hannah Shearer told Vice that sanctuary resolutions would be “confusing” for local officials, explaining that “making it a state policy to not enforce federal gun laws is going to compromise public safety and leave state and local officials confused about what they are allowed to do to help with the enforcement of federal gun laws.”

Even though Ms. Shearer isn’t giving local officials enough credit, compared to some of her other statements, she is almost being kind.

There has been very little of the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth over this nationwide trend from Giffords and other anti-gun groups, which could indicate they realize the scope of what they’re up against – nearly half of the country now supports the sanctuary movement.

Some cable TV news actors have referred to Second Amendment sanctuaries as symbolic, in what can be seen as an attempt to downplay or trivialize the movement. When a half of the country supports an issue – any issue – there’s nothing symbolic about it.

If the media needs to come up with a label for the Second Amendment sanctuary movement, call it a warning – a stern warning – for federal officials, especially the elected ones.

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

 

This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, and used here with their permission.

59 COMMENTS

  1. “more than 95% of Virginia’s counties had declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries”

    That’s the first thing I looked at on the map. It’s insane how untouchable Democrats have become in statewide elections there.

    • Look at Colorado: same thing. Democrats own the state government and have effed up the state’s gun laws, yet EVERY county — even the one progtard-infested Denver is in — has a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.

      I’m not sure how that happens. Is it just that there are a LOT of stupid people who vote for politicians that hate them? Or maybe Democrats got in once and gerrymandered everything, or there’s systematic cheating going on? Probably a combination of all three, I’d guess.

        • My impression as a Washington resident is that most people outside of the large cities are pro 2A. Probably the same in most states. I think democrats have such a hold on the state because mail in vote fraud. The democrats here have had decades of practice. Same with Oregon.

        • Yes, Kim Wyman is another liberal hiding in RINO clothing. The only reason to believe that she is so appalled that Arizona is doing an audit of votes is because she is afraid it could happen in Washington and blow her scheme.

      • {How Leftist Scum get government control of states}

        “I’m not sure how that happens. Is it just that there are a LOT of stupid people who vote for politicians that hate them?”

        They tend to move to the population centers, and that’s where the state governments tend to be.

        Example – If I moved to Colorado, I’d want to be in the mountains west of Denver, so I could use the resources of Denver when I wanted, on my terms. Leftists love big cities, and change them to suit themselves…

  2. My home is a sanctuary residence for undocumented guns. Newsom and his cronies in Sacramento are changing the laws and trying to declare them “illegal”, but I’m offended by that (triggered, I say! triggered!!). Besides, when not in actual use, my guns identify as paperweights, and therefore the laws don’t apply.

    I like word play.

      • Mine are living a bit more edgy, you might say. They self-identify as a cudgel when their food is done for. :p

        Makes for a nice space in time to draw a proper blade.

  3. I’m confused on the map? How can a state be Constitutional Carry and still not be marked with a bunch of purple?
    I see one county is purple in my state, but the whole state is green. Hows that work.
    And cool on Oklahoma too, I dont need a government permission slip to enter their state with concealed weapon.

    • Counties in states with the best (least) gun laws probably don’t feel a need to express any kind of formal “sanctuary” status. The whole state is pro-2A, which, ironically, makes its counties not really show up as anything on this particular map.

  4. On the one hand, I’m thrilled my Virginia county is a 2A sanctuary. On the other hand, I don’t like the idea of “sanctuaries” — it’s a leftist invention to signal how much they care about illegal immigrants and other Others rather than a real tactic for legislative change. Democrats didn’t want to engage and debate on the immigration issue, just #resist. We’re a nation of laws. I’m leery about selectively enforcing them, even bad laws.

    And yes, I realize this is one of the problems with conservatives. We play by the rules.

    • A 2A sanctuary isn’t a violation of the rules, but rather, an assertion that they will be followed, i.e. that the constitution and the bill of rights mean what they say – upholding the rules in opposition to those who would break them.

      Sanctuaries for illegal immigration are exactly the opposite: an assertion that illegal behavior will be encouraged, and that the constitution doesn’t mean anything in particular – breaking the rules.

      I don’t think it’s hypocritical or wrong to support one and not the other.

    • Leftist may have invented the “sanctuary” so they don’t have a real reason to bitch when conservatives use it for their own proposes.

  5. This is great news. It means local LEO’s won’t be looking for scary guns or anything else. It makes the ATF’s job a lot harder. It also means they may think twice about trying to enforce something that may come out of Washington during this administration.

    • I wouldn’t bet on the locals not helping the feds when push comes to shove.
      I’m not sure but I believe by law a sheriff has to help an FBI guy?
      I suppose he could quit or get fired.

      • FBI can’t fire a Sheriff, that position is voted in by the people. If there were any law enforcement that should be held near and dear to the people its the Sheriffs department. That’s your last line of defense between what the people want and a dictatorship.
        Been many a Sheriff tell the feds they’re on their own.

        • Not sure- but A. That was a long time ago and B. Waco was one location they could focus on, if the Feds have to spread across the entire country (or half as noted here) then they are gonna be REALLY thin on the ground. If most state govt’s just said “your law, YOU enforce it” then it basically becomes useless.
          I’d like to see the laws state “no help from local/state officials in ANY capacity” and have stiff penalties for violations by the state/local LE. Make all gun laws very painful to enforce for all involved.

  6. So I can’t just yet accidentally an entire shoestring all over my 10/22 and ak or could I?

  7. Well how special is this…ILLinois is “mostly” a 2A sancutary. Except where the vast # of citizens live😕

    • What else do we see?

      Illinois is getting quite a bit of attention on the national scene to the point where red states are likely using it. There are reasons why Texas Republicans are so motivated right now to do things like Constitutional Carry.

      People all over this country are seeing this craziness. It’s part of why so many are buying so many guns and ammo. Not to mention moving out of blue states to the point of changing the number of seats for those states.

    • former water walker,

      The article similarly claims that most of the United States is a Second Amendment sanctuary–perhaps in terms of square miles and most definitely NOT in terms of population.

      I will argue that population is the most important factor since a majority of the U.S. population usually chooses which politicians win elections and hence which policies become laws. Along a similar vein, large populations usually have a large collective purse which they can use directly or indirectly to pay thugs to enforce whatever dictates they desire.

      Like it or not, “Might makes right.” And square miles of land area in-and-of-itself is NOT “might”.

      • “Like it or not, “Might makes right.” And square miles of land area in-and-of-itself is NOT “might”

        What we *can* do is use their tactics against them.

        Just one example –

        Accuse them of using their greater numbers to ‘bully’ us to get their way. How Democrats are supposed be the ones to protect the rights of the little guys with little political clout.

        Be just as evil as they are, to get our way… 😉

      • In terms of growing the food that keeps city folks from starving, square miles of land is very much might. As they say, an army marches on its stomach.

        • drednicolson,

          While I agree completely that those rural farmers grow the food that the city folks eat and that would represent enormous leverage in theory, in practice I don’t see it that way. How many farmers are willing to NOT produce food (and hence go bankrupt) for no other reason than to apply leverage to politically Left/Progressive cities?

          And then we would still have the problem of how to feed the Centrist/Right/Conservative populations. How does that work? Farmers produce just enough food for Centrist/Conservative folks? How would farmers know how much to reduce their production? And what stops thugs with badges from bitch-slapping those farmers and taking their limited food production away to feed Left/Progressive populations in urban centers? Are we going to have the modern-day equivalent of Minutemen always ready to rally at any farm where thugs with badges come to steal “redistribute” food?

    • Illinois counties started declaring themselves “sanctuary counties” when the new Governor started all of his anti 2A BS. County Sheriffs got onboard and said they wouldn’t enforce any law that violated the Second Amendment.

      12 counties out of 102 should not turn what is basically a red state into a blue one. As someone stated Chicago should be bulldozed into the lake. That’s where all the libtards are and in the counties around that hole.

      There is very little violent or gun crimes the further you get from major population centers and deeper into Illinois. Chicago is probably responsible for 99% of Illinois murders with guns. (Rockford is also quite the shitehole) but for the most part where there is blue they vote in the liberal anti 2A Aholes.

      I was going to stick it out but when where I worked gave me an opportunity to transfer to a free state, I jumped on it. The charade that passes for government in Illinois is ridiculous. As an example: Stealing 30 million from the firearm fund which in turn totally screwed up the timely processing of the BS FOID and CCLs just to put that money into the SNAP or food stamp fund.

      While I am vehemently opposed to people starving (especially children) the SNAP program in NE Illinois always was and still is a scam used by generations of scammers. If you order steaks using Amazon Prime you can pay for it with your SNAP card. If you can afford to pay $120 for Amazon Prime, should you be in the SNAP program?

      I’m not saying that the people who genuinely need help paying for food should eat garbage. I don’t think that steaks from Amazon is the intention of a free food program. If you spend $120 at say Aldi, you are going to end up with a lot of food. Most of it is pretty tasty IMO but some of it is awful. It’s all edible.
      It’s like Dinty Moore Beef Stew, I’m pretty sure it’s just Alpo with a different label.

      • Dear IL sucks so I left,

        “It’s like Dinty Moore Beef Stew, I’m pretty sure it’s just Alpo with a different label.”

        That there was funny!

        I am glad to see that I am not the only person with similar thoughts.

  8. i’d love to see all in but for cook, maybe lake.
    pretty sure mchenry, jo davies and winnebago are all slamdunks.

    • From what I know ILLinois is one of the centers of the sanctuary movement. At least according to the YouTuber Reid Henrichs/Balor Ridge…

  9. They were ok with all the states making it state policy not to enforce federal drug laws regarding weed but when we make it state policy regarding guns now it will make things confusing

    • “They were ok with all the states making it state policy not to enforce federal drug laws regarding weed…”

      Straight outta the Saul Alinsky playbook, ‘Rules for Radicals’ :

      Rule # 4 – “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

      They can’t complain about our ‘sanctuaries’, without making themselves (and their pet sanctuaries) look like hypocrites.

      And *that* leads directly to rule # 5 – “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.”

      They are dammed if they do, and dammed if they *don’t*.

      Checkmate. 😉

      As a service to the 2A supporters everywhere, Google ‘Rules for Radicals’ and create a notepad doc of them for future use…

  10. Tell me again about the great ‘Trump Slump’

    Tell me about how the 2A is dead….a relic of a bygone era…

    The concept of a 2A Sanctuary isn’t going to provide a leg to stand on where any LEGAL action is in play. BUT neither is going to a 2A rally wearing a slinged AR. It’s done to send a message. Having 46% of American counties officially listed as 2A sanctuaries sends a very loud message to Washington that I believe they ARE seeing. County officials would not do this if it were not for so many people buying guns, ammo, and time at ranges, training courses, hunting, and LTC’s. We need to get the hint as well. Guns are NOT going anywhere. This is a huge (hands) middle finger to Mr. (hell yeas we are taking your AR15’s and AK47’s) O’Rourke.

    • “The concept of a 2A Sanctuary isn’t going to provide a leg to stand on where any LEGAL action is in play.”

      That’s not the *point* of doing it. It makes their favorite sanctuaries look stupid.

      Alinsky rule 4 – “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

      What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

      And that’s a political *win* for us… 😉

  11. But how many of them are serious about it?
    Do they not enforce any red flag laws?
    Do they not help the ATF?
    Do they not enforce any federal gun laws and let you drill that third hole?
    Do they allow you to open carry your RPG-7 rocket launcher?

    • Any desire of the state or local government for thos things will be handled in other ways. Things with teeth.

    • “Do they not enforce any red flag laws?”

      That’s why we need to get busy and load the lawsuit pipeline with cases challenging those unconstitutional laws.

      It’s a real good way to eventually force Sonja Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to show their true colors on ‘Due Process’ issues.

      Playing ‘dirty pool’ with Leftist Scum is *fun*! 😉

  12. Does this include the permitless carry States? Seems to me that carries more legal weight than a simple sanctuary resolution. If not, it should. I know a few States have both permitless carry and a Sanctuary declaration at County level, but not all do.

    • GunnyGene,

      “Seems to me that [states with permitless carry status] carries more legal weight than a simple sanctuary resolution.”

      When it comes to federal policies/laws intended to infringe on our inalienable right to keep and bear arms, fedzilla does not have the manpower to broadly implement such policies/laws–especially policies/laws to disarm the citizenry. If fedzilla sincerely wanted to disarm most of the U.S. population, fedzilla would need a gigantic amount of help from state, county, and city police departments. And if states, counties, and cities refuse to assist fedzilla in disarming the population, fedzilla will largely fail at achieving that goal.

      Thus, there is a significant tactical advantage (no pun intended) to counties and states declaring themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries since those declarations are official local policy which forbids local law enforcement from helping fedzilla.

      That is why Second Amendment Sanctuary counties/states are a bigger deal than permitless carry.

      • Valid point, but I think if it came to that there would many millions of people that would not just stand around hollering “Sanctuary” as if it were some magic talisman. They’d be doing something kinetic, and I’m including local authorities in those millions – at least as far as MS is concerned.

        MS Code

        Ҥ 11-65-1. Enforcement of certain federal laws, orders, or rules prohibited.
        No federal executive order, agency order, law not enrolled by the United States Congress and signed by the President of the United States, rule, regulation or administrative interpretation of a law or statute issued, enacted or promulgated after July 1, 2016, that violates the United States Constitution or the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 shall be enforced or ordered to be enforced by any official, agent or employee of this state or a political subdivision thereof. “

  13. Let me know when Washington, DC becomes a 2A sanctuary. Until it is, we and all our rights are in danger.

  14. Montana better catch on.

    Only took us a year and a half to REMOVE the incentives for staying on unemployment. Removed the mask mandate – which is great and it’s proof the whole thing was bullshit. But more importantly we need constitutional carry, no in betweens, no shall issue. Conceal? Still constitutional.

    Shall not be infringed means exactly what it sounds like, and if you doubt – read a book, read a muhfucken book from the ones who wrote it further defining it.

  15. Here in the People’s Republic of New Jersey, we have the opposite kind of “Second Amendment sanctuary.” New Jersey officials have made the entire state of New Jersey a zone where the Second Amendment is null and void.

    A state where “shall not be infringed” means “will be infringed in every way, shape, and form we can think of.” A state where BB guns and other airguns are legally classified as “firearms” and require all the same permits, forms, FOID cards, fingerprints, background checks, and “permit to purchase a handgun” that are required for a .50 Desert Eagle. A state where having an airgun (BB gun or pellet gun) with a built-in suppressor (which most adult air rifles have these days) will get you ten years behind bars for an “illegal silencer.” The state where a BB gun that holds more than 10 BBs is an “assault weapon.”

    I could go on and on, but basically, New Jersey is a Constitution-free sanctuary, the type of sanctuary where Constitutional rights are null and void. New Jersey is the state where gun rights go to die.

    • Stuck in New Jersey,

      I have often wondered which state in our nation has the worst combined firearm laws. I tend to think that it is a tossup between California, New York, and New Jersey. You may have just convinced me that it is New Jersey.

  16. This sort of thing is badly overrated. Resolutions do not have force of law. Ordinances do.

    I wonder what the map looks like when one takes out all the feel-good ritualism of “sanctuary” resolutions?

  17. So what? It’s all talk unless they’re going to completely ignore and or fight anything federal it doesn’t matter. I don’t just mean anything coming down the pipe, ai mean everything federal that already exists. The NFA and everything else needs to be void for me to give a damn.

    What does a 2A Sanctuary even mean? That the status quo is upheld? If that is the case then it’s useless.

  18. Now if the local DA’s and sheriffs will just back this up. When the Feds come calling. Everyone should be asking them this question.

  19. When some ask how a state (like Virginia for example) can be 95% sanctuary and still “overwealmingly” elect Democrats, one needs look no further than how the 2020 election was stolen. People thinking the electronic and other fraud was just at the presidential level are overlooking the huge scope of the fraud. EVERYWHERE there are voting machines there is fraud at every level of the elections. Result: The fraud in Virginia, Colorado, Georgia, even California and elsewhere, elects Democrats (AKA Marxists) to rule a conservative majority. All fraud, everywhere.

  20. The Giffords director of litigation, Hannah Shearer told Vice that sanctuary resolutions would be “confusing” for local officials, explaining that “making it a state policy to not enforce federal gun laws is going to compromise public safety and leave state and local officials confused about what they are allowed to do to help with the enforcement of federal gun laws.”

    Soooo… What does IT think of “Sanctuary cities, states for (illegal) immigrants” where people are ACTUALLY violating federal laws? Seems to me that would be WAY more confusing for someone who SWORE an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution AND uphold the laws of the United States.” Hmmmm, guns compromise public safety, but undocumented immigrants with all kinds of diseases are not a problem?…

  21. Great Story with a WONDERFUL ending! . . . The U.S. Citizen WON’T take infringing on our GOD GIVEN rights sitting DOWN – no matter WHAT the COMMUNISTS at the Biden Administration says. One Enlightened Patriot. Team Trump And His Allies 2020 – MAGA (WE’RE NOT going away!).

  22. This kind of article is as deceptive as the lamestream media. Nowhere in the article did it mention what percent of the population lived in those counties. I’m sure there is a reason. Many of those counties are in the middle of the country, while most of the population are on the coasts. It might be 46% of the counties, but it certainly isn’t close to 46% of the population.

  23. You need to update your map and do a recount. All but 4 counties in Nebraska have declared themselves 2nd Amendment sanctuaries thanks to the hard work of the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association NFOA.

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