Virginia Attorney General Says Second Amendment Sanctuaries Are Illegal


Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued an advisory opinion on the Commonwealth’s ever-growing 2nd Amendment sanctuary movement Friday morning, saying the resolutions passed by over 100 Virginia localities have “no legal effect.”

Citing “recurring incidents of gun violence” the attorney general opined that legislators have virtually unchecked authority when it comes to enacting gun control legislation.

The opinion, requested by Norfolk Democrat Jay Jones, goes on to say that since “all actions of the General Assembly are presumed constitutional,” then “all localities and local constitutional officers are required to comply with all laws enacted by the General Assembly.”

The opinion echoes earlier statements by Attorney General Herring and his office, who have previously questioned the authority local governments have to declare their jurisdictions Second Amendment sanctuaries.

“When the General Assembly passes new gun safety laws they will be enforced, and they will be followed,” Herring said earlier this month.

The opinion also echoes that of other Richmond Democrats, including Governor Ralph Northam, who has repeatedly shot down questions from constituents and reporters alike over the constitutionality of sweeping gun control legislation. 

While Herring insists that localities have no choice but to cooperate with any and all gun control bills coming out of Richmond, citing Virginia’s own version of the supremacy clause, he does concede that laws may be struck down in court, something Tazewell County’s Board of Supervisors had in mind while designing both a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution and militia ordinance earlier this month, as National File reported.

Unfortunately for Herring, while the Constitution of Virginia may provide greater authority to the state government on some issues, it most certainly doesn’t grant the state the authority to gut the Virginia Declaration of Rights. 

Citing Article 1, Section 13, of the Constitution of Virginia, the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors believes their militia ordinance will stop Herring and the Democrats dead in their tracks in a court of law.

“Counties, not the state, determine what types of arms may be carried in their territory and by whom,” Tazewell County Administrator Eric Young told reporters.

Board member Charlie Stacy, an attorney, was on the same page, telling reporters that “the resolution is truly designed to allow us to hire lawyers to see that laws infringing on the Second Amendment never last any longer than it takes a court to remove them.”