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Category Archives: Second Amendment
Posted: January 18, 2020 at 10:08 am
President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE on Friday warned of an attack on the Second Amendment after Virginia Democrats curtailed access for firearms at the state capitol.
Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. Thats what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems! Trump tweeted.
Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. Thats what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!
The tweet comes after state legislators voted last week to ban firearms at the state Capitol and Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) declared a state of emergency to temporarily ban individuals from carrying weapons on its grounds.
Both moves came before a gun rights rally planned for next week that is expected to draw armed protesters and a mass of counter-protesters, raising fears of clashes between the two crowds.
Northam said in his statement declaring the emergency that his office had received credible intelligence of threats of violence surrounding the demonstration that included extremist rhetoric similar to that surrounding the deadly Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League, the organizers of the rally, has said that the demonstration will draw thousands to the area. The group'sFacebook event pageindicates thatmore than 5,000say they will attend.
"We support citizens rights to peacefully protest and express their views to their elected officials," said Northam. "But we must also keep the public, as well as those who work around Capitol Square, safe."
Virginia Democrats, who won total control of state government last year for the first time since 1994, are also eyeing several gun control measures as they seek to flex their muscles in their newfound majority.
Among the reformsthe party hopes to pass are universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and a "red flag" law that would permit law enforcement to remove guns from those deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others.
Posted: at 10:08 am
Theres been a massive wave of public resistance in Virginia to gun regulations proposed by the recently-elected and Democratic-dominated state legislature there. This winter, supporters of gun rights across the state filled local meetings and, in more than 130 jurisdictions, fought for resolutions to become Second Amendment Sanctuaries, which dozens have passed.
While Virginias Attorney General says the measures hold no legal weight, they affirm that sheriffs and county officials plan to refuse to enforce what they say are unconstitutional state or federal gun regulations.
As Virginias legislative session begins, much of the pro-gun energy is now set to coalesce around the gun rights advocacy group Virginia Citizens Defense Leagues annual lobby day at the state capitol in Richmond. But scholars of the American far-right say the principles underlying the current sanctuary movement have a history steeped in bigotry.
According to Devin Burghart, an expert on white nationalism and far-right paramilitary organizations, the language of some who support the sanctuary resolutions in Virginia bears unmistakable links to anti-government movements from decades past.
Specifically, Burghart points to the visible influence of the idea of posse comitatus, Latin for power of the county.
Burghart says the posse comitatus theory claims that the political will of the people is at its most potent at the county level, and as such, the most important holders of public office are county sheriffs.
An elected Sheriff answers only to the citizenry, wrote Sheriff Scott Jenkins of Culpeper County, Virginia, in a recent Facebook post on the Sheriffs Office page. I will always respect the rule of law but I dont need to wait for a court to interpret my duty for me.
Sheriff Jenkins has been an outspoken supporter of the Virginia sanctuaries, vowing to deputize county residents to resist state laws regulating guns, should they pass.
This notion of county supremacy and the ideas of the posse comitatus that go all the way back to the 1970s, and the idea of the sheriff being the most important law enforcement officer in the land is one that has deep and deeply troubling roots in this country, said Burghart, executive director of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. The ideas originated in the racist right.
He says the notion was popularized by a man named William Potter Gale, a virulent racist and anti-Semite, as described by Burghart. Gale founded a paramilitary group named Posse Comitatus and went on to help launch the Christian Patriot movement in the 1980s, during a farm crisis in the Midwest.
It was in the midst of this dramatic economic collapse of family farms during the 80s that groups like the Posse stepped in and tried to claim it was the Jews who were behind an international banking conspiracy that were putting farmers out of business, said Burghart.
This history is documented by author Daniel Levitas in his 2002 book The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right. Posse adherent Gordon Kahl would go on to kill federal marshals before the group began to dissolve.
Since the 80s, Burghart says ideas about county supremacy have evolved and actively spread throughout the country, often through sheriffs in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest.
These ideas keep getting retrenched and brought to the surface when we see efforts to try to bring about change around things like gun rights or property rights or other issues that have an impact in local communities, said Burghart.
In 2009, an Arizona sheriff named Richard Mack, who disavows violence, wrote the book The County Sheriff: Americas Last Hope, in which he coined the phrase constitutional sheriff, an idea embraced by defiant law enforcement leaders including former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Mack is founder and president of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and gained prominence in the 1990s. He was a plaintiff in a successful lawsuit resisting requirements that law enforcement perform background checks on gun buyers as originally intended by the Clinton-era Brady Bill. He says hes in touch with some of the sheriffs supporting Second Amendment sanctuaries today.
A lot of those sanctuary cities and counties across the country dont go far enough, said Mack. What do you do if they still come in and try to take law abiding citizens guns? [The sheriffs] need to actually intervene and interpose and not let it happen.
These county supremacy and constitutional sheriff principles are glaringly visible to experts like Burghart in the rhetoric and resolutions coming out of Virginia. But its not clear that this history is common knowledge among the average gun rights supporters whove peacefully raised their voices against proposed gun regulations in Virginia.
Thats a huge problem, said Burghart. Its virtually impossible when you adopt the language and the rhetoric of white supremacy to somehow rhetorically distance yourself from it. You need to not use that language in the first place, and you need to understand where its coming from and what it means to people in your community.
On Wednesday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and temporary ban on weapons on the state capitol grounds where the VCDLs rally is set to be held. Less than a day later, Marylands U.S. Attorney General announced that the FBI had arrested three alleged members of a racially motivated violent extremist group who officials say were planning to attend the Virginia rally.
On Friday, three Georgia men authorities suspected of being part of the same group were arrested, though it is unclear whether they planned to travel to the rally.
Before the ban, organizers of the January 20 rally had urged attendees to safeguard the public image of gun rights supporters by not bringing rifles to the event.
If you are asking how you can help with VCDLs mission, carrying long guns at Lobby Day is not helpful it is a distraction. VCDLs important messages inevitably get lost as the press rushes to get pictures of anyone carrying an AR or AK, wrote VCDL President Philip Van Cleave.
However, Van Cleave has also welcomed militia to attend the event in Richmond. Members of militia groups including the Oath Keepers and III% Security Force are expected to attend.
This article will be updated with more reporting from the rally on Monday.
Guns & America is a public media reporting project on the role of guns in American life.
Posted: at 10:08 am
- Defending gun laws: Jennings County declared a Second Amendment sanctuary WAVE 3
- NC GOP lawmakers support Second Amendment sanctuaries, will attend Va. gun rally Raleigh News & Observer
- Cherokee County explores Second Amendment Sanctuary declaration Joplin Globe
- Whitfield County man starts petition to create 'Second Amendment sanctuary' WTVC
- Cabell County could become 'Second Amendment sanctuary' county Huntington Herald Dispatch
- View full coverage on Google News
Posted: at 10:08 am
In the span of two months, more than 120 towns, cities, and counties in Virginia have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries where unconstitutional gun laws would not be enforced. The movement is drawing steam from the raft of gun reform bills state Democrats introduced after gaining full control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades.
But Virginia is hardly alone: More than 400 municipalities in 20 states have now passed resolutions opposing the enforcement of certain gun laws passed by state or federal lawmakers. In other places, sheriffs say they wont enforce specific gun safety laws and firearm confiscation statutes.
Meanwhile, rural residents in both red and blue states continue to pack public meetings to protest gun regulations. In December, GOP Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie attended a standing-room only meeting of the Vanceburg City Council and observed that his constituents enthusiasm for the gun sanctuary movement feels even stronger than the Tea Party in 2010.
The gun rights supporters who came up with the term Second Amendment sanctuary modeled the idea on the sanctuary cities that flourished in the early 2000s as some liberal cities resisted immigration policies. In that iteration, San Francisco and other cities prohibited the use of public resources to assist federal immigration enforcement.
Bryan Kibler, the states attorney in Effingham County, Illinois, is credited with first applying the term to the gun debate. Were just stealing the language that sanctuary cities use, he told The Associated Press in 2018. (Before this, a few states and counties had passed what were, effectively, gun sanctuary laws, but they didnt yet use that terminology.)
The newer, Second Amendment type of sanctuary refers to a city, town, or county that has adopted a resolution rejecting the enforcement of state or federal gun laws perceived to violate the Second Amendment. Targeted regulations commonly include red flag laws, universal gun background checks, and bans on assault-style weapons.
The specific language used in Second Amendment resolutions varies from place to place. Some are more general declarations in support of Second Amendment rights, while others specify how a community will withhold support for state or federal gun laws.
In Effingham County, Illinois, officials passed a resolution in April 2018 vowing not to enforce the unconstitutional actions of the state government. The action was prompted by five proposals then under consideration by state lawmakers including a bump stock ban, an assault weapons ban, and a high-capacity magazine ban. Within a few weeks, four other rural counties followed suit. Today, more than 70 municipalities throughout Illinois have declared themselves gun sanctuaries. And they have spread to 19 other states. Colorado counties began passing such resolutions this past spring as a red flag law advanced in the state legislature; by the time the new law took effect this year, 44 localities had enacted them.
After a wave of states passed reforms after Sandy Hook in 2013, sheriffs in Oregon began publicly declaring that they wouldnt enforce new gun restrictions. Many of these law enforcement officials align themselves with the movement of constitutional sheriffs, who believe their position should grant them the authority to determine the constitutionality of state and local laws, even if that means defying the federal government. In New Mexico, 30 of the states 33 county sheriffs have announced their support for gun sanctuaries; in Washington, 24 of the states 39 sheriffs have; and in Nevada, all of the states 17 sheriffs have publicly declared their opposition to new gun laws.
Although some of these rural sheriffs acted before the first Second Amendment sanctuary resolution passed, they are generally considered to be a part of the same movement.
Many experts say that sanctuary resolutions are largely symbolic and not legally binding. But last year, after the movement had spread to 12 states, Kibler, the states attorney in Effingham County, told Rolling Stone, Weve gotten past the symbolic stage. Were standing up for ourselves.
Now, a number of state attorneys general and other legal experts argue that there could be court challenges or lawsuits for localities that stop enforcing state gun laws.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring opined in December that the resolutions have no legal force. Last year, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson warned that sheriffs who declined to enforce Initiative 1639 which required enhanced background checks for semiautomatic rifles could be held liable if a law enforcement official refused to vet a gun buyer who later uses that gun to harm someone. And Colorados Attorney General Phil Weiser said that any sheriffs who refuse to enforce new gun laws should resign.
Mary B. McCord, a former acting assistant attorney general for national security, argued in The Washington Post that Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions have no legal basis and that only a court can overturn a state or federal law. State constitutions, statutes and common law generally affirm the supremacy of federal and state law, meaning that local jurisdictions are preempted from enacting conflicting ordinances and resolutions, she wrote.
Some officials who have passed gun sanctuary resolutions acknowledge that they dont carry the force of law. The Board of Commissioners in Citrus County, Florida, said its resolution was a declaration of support for the Second Amendment and had no legal authority. Its not saying we wont obey rules, Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith said.
But other local governments have used their resolutions to outline specific enforcement actions. The Mohave County, Arizona, Board of Supervisors, which passed a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution in November, said it will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers, or offices for the purpose of enforcing laws that unconstitutionally infringe on the peoples right to keep and bear arms.
Gun reform advocates say that the court system is where this dispute should and will play out. The proper procedure if law enforcement officers and local governments have issue with new laws is to bring legal action in the courts, and have courts determine whether those laws are constitutional, said Jonathan Lowy, vice president of the legal action project at the gun reform group Brady.
Then there is the possibility of lawsuits the kind brought by victims of gun violence perpetrated by someone whose gun should theoretically have been confiscated.
Yes, but the extent of its role in helping the movement spread remains unclear.
The National Rifle Association has offered broad, if vaguely worded, support. Liberty is reliant upon the participation of free people, and this includes the vast number of citizens and communities who are lawfully exercising their rights under the First Amendment to defend their freedoms under the Second, the organization said in a December statement. It is the tyrannical nature of politicians that triggers sanctuary, not the other way around.
But last February, Brady obtained emails suggesting that the NRA had ghostwritten pro-gun op-eds for rural New Mexico sheriffs to submit to local newspapers.
Were not talking about a grassroots movement, Christian Heyne, the groups vice president, said during a call with reporters earlier this month. This is coming from this gun industry that, frankly, can feel the fact that the public no longer finds them relevant.
See the article here:
Second Amendment Sanctuaries, Explained - The Trace
Posted: at 10:08 am
The Second Amendment right to bear arms, its reference to a militia and how such issues impact blacks will be the topic of a talk at 6 p.m. Jan. 22 in the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave.
Lion Blyden, a contributor to the Challenger Community News and president of the Buffalo division of the Universal Negro Improvement Association & African Communities League, also will discuss how the work of the National Rifle Association affects blacks. The UNIA is the organization founded by Marcus Garvey in 1914 and UNIA&AAC members are Garveyites.
The free forum is sponsored by the Dorie Miller Rifle and Pistol Club, named for the black Navy messman turned hero who manned an anti-aircraft gun when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in World War II. Miller earned the Navy Cross despite the fact that segregation had barred him from combat roles.
Originally posted here:
Blacks and the Second Amendment will be topic of forum - Buffalo News
Posted: at 10:08 am
WINCHESTER Stating they have already sworn to uphold and protect the constitution, members of Winchester's City Council on Tuesday voted against adopting a resolution that would pledge to uphold local residents' right to own guns.
Since November, tens of thousands of Virginians have been asking their local government leaders to designate localities as Second Amendment sanctuaries because they believe proposed new laws being considered by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly in Richmond would infringe on their right to buy guns for legal purposes, such as hunting or self-protection.
Government leaders in 130 of the state's counties, cities and towns including Frederick County, Clarke County and Berryvillehave adopted resolutions in support of gun rights.
Only 11 municipalities in Virginia, including Winchester, have voted against a resolution or declined to take action on one.
Local supporters of Second Amendment sanctuaries turned out in large numbers at Winchester City Council meetings in November and December. Anticipating an even greater number of people at Tuesday's work session, officials moved the meeting from council chambers in Rouss City Hall to the auditorium at John Kerr Elementary School.
As it turned out, only about 50 people attended, and about a third of them were there to oppose the creation of a Second Amendment resolution.
"None of these proposed laws infringe on the Second Amendment rights of anyone," resolution opponent Ann Bacon of Winchester said to a smattering of applause from the audience.
"Are we suggesting that people disobey the law because we're a sanctuary city? That seems dangerous," Bill Fuller of Winchester said.
Those who support Second Amendment sanctuaries argued that guns keep communities safe.
"If we legal gun owners are such a danger to society, why have these meetings been so peaceful?" asked Mark Stickley of Winchester.
"It is our right to protect ourselves," Jennifer Turman Bayliss of Winchester said.
Brandon Angel of Winchester said Virginians won't stand for having their Second Amendment rights trampled by what he considers unconstitutional changes to existing gun laws.
"There is going to be blood shed on both sides," Angel said. "People will rebel."
The nine members of City Council five Democrats and four Republicans said they would not support becoming a sanctuary city, but they did consider a proposal to proclaim Winchester a city that respects and defends the constitutions and bills of rights of the United States and Virginia.
"It doesn't require asking our administrators and law enforcement to ignore laws," Councilor John Willingham, a Republican, said about his motion to make Winchester a so-called constitutional city that supports the Second Amendment, following an example set by Virginia Beach on Jan. 6.
"I work every day with children," Democratic Councilor Judy McKiernan, an administrator with Winchester Public Schools, said during Tuesday's work session. "Are we ready to tell them, 'I don't like that rule, so I'm not going to follow it'?"
Several councilors, including Democrat Kim Herbstritt and Republican Bill Wiley, said a resolution pledging to uphold constitutional laws would be redundant because, when council members were sworn into office, they swore to do just that.
"We're bound by that oath," Wiley said.
Republican Councilor Les Veach said he would go along with the constitutional city resolution if it included a line calling on Richmond to fund enforcement of any new gun regulations.
"The unfunded mandates we get from the state have a crippling effect on us," Veach said.
Mayor David Smith, a Democrat, said he grew up in a rough neighborhood where his mother was once shot, but he opposed the resolution because of what it could do to Winchester's economy if businesses and tourists start avoiding the city due to its perceived advocacy for gun ownership.
"Once you start putting labels on yourself," Smith said, "you discourage people from coming to the city."
Although all nine councilors rejected the idea of making Winchester a sanctuary city, the four Republican members still supported a constitutional city resolution. However, none of the five Democrats were willing to support the measure, which brought an end to the discussion.
Wiley told audience members that a resolution would be a moot point anyway because Winchester cannot create gun laws.
"The people who are legislating [in Richmond] are the ones who should be hearing this," he said.
Attending Tuesday night's City Council work session at John Kerr Elementary School were Mayor and council President David Smith, Vice Mayor John Hill, Vice President Evan Clark and councilors John Willingham, Kim Herbstritt, Les Veach, Judy McKiernan, Bill Wiley and Corey Sullivan.
Read the original here:
City Council: 2nd Amendment resolution unnecessary - The Winchester Star
Posted: at 10:08 am
Posted: at 10:08 am
As leading figures in the Democratic Party have become more overt about gun confiscations, it was only a matter of time until any opposition was dismissed as being founded in bigotry. After all, if climate change, math, and perhaps most bizarrely college footballcan be racist, why not the second amendment?
Left-leaning outlets such as The Guardianand New Republic are working to racialize the gun debate. These columnists argue that the Founding Fathers gave Americans the right to bear arms partially to ensure the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans and partially to keep down African Americans. The more mainstream but perhaps even less scrupulous outlet, CNN, suggests that gun ownership is linked to toxic masculinity. One might call these fringe opinions, but every major Democratic presidential candidate, besides maybe Senator Klobuchar, have echoed similar points. As the American left has become increasingly dominated by postmodernism and critical race theory, it has begun to see the Second Amendment as the mechanism by which an inherently white supremacist and patriarchal system perpetuates the oppression of marginalized groups.
While in 2020, charges of bigotry are often levied but seldom proven, there is something particularly pernicious about painting gun rights advocates this way. It isnt just wrong. It isnt even just a lie. Any attempt to paint the Second Amendment as oppressive is exactly the type of farce Orwell warned of in 1984. It is an exact inversion of the truth.
Let us first dismiss the argument that gun culture is in any way used to reinforce a system of patriarchy. Men and women may be intellectually, morally, and spiritually equal, but they are not and never have been physically equal. There is a telling line in season two of True Detective:
The fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands.
This is obviously true. While there are exceptions, if a randomly selected male and female fought, the male would win nine of ten times and perhaps more. The fact that men have a dramatic advantage in their capacity for violence is the biggest contributor to why women were politically and legally subservient until recent history. Firearms largely neutralized this advantage or, at the very least, minimized its importance. The average woman with a gun is every bit as dangerous as the average man with a gun. Firearms do not contribute to female oppression. In fact, there is a case to be made that any level of political and legal gender equality could not exist at all independent of access to guns.
Let us take as an example the most oppressive act a man can perpetrate against a woman, violent rape. When a woman is unarmed, thirty-two percent of rape attempts are successful, but when she is armed, that number drops to three percent. In 1966, Orlando responded to an uptick in sexual assaults by emphasizing gun ownership and training to vulnerable women. Rapes dropped nearly ninety percent the following year. When the U.K. effectively banned private gun ownership, they saw a rise in sexual assault at the same time, America saw a dramatic decrease. Access to firearms is the most important tool for female empowerment outside of reliable birth control.
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While the assertion that gun ownership is a tool of female oppression is ridiculous at face value, the idea that gun ownership is a tool of racial oppression seems reasonable at face value. After all, black men are massively overrepresented in shooting victim statistics. However, it does not bear any real level of scrutiny. The infamous Dred Scott of 1857, which made the Civil War all but inevitable, stated that no black man could be an American citizen because he would then have the right to bear arms. The Democratic Party, the political organ of proslavery sentiment, was acutely aware that even if only a few black freemen had access to weapons, they would soon be unable to hold any slaves in bondage.
The NRA was formed in the aftermath of the Civil War to help close the marksmanship gap between Union and Confederate soldiers. Many Northern generals cited the proficiency Southern men had with weapons as a primary reason the Civil War lasted as long as it did. These generals wanted their soldiers better able to deal with the pockets of Confederate resistance in Reconstruction states. In fact, the event that made clear the need for a rifle association was when Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Ku Klux Klan massacred black soldiers at Fort Pillow in 1869.
Many credit the eloquence and vision of Martin Luther King Jr. for making Congress pass the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, the first real civil rights legislation since the thirteenth amendment. However, modern historians often forget that Malcolm Xs calls for African-Americans to arm and protect themselves was just as important in pressuring politicians for reform. History is quite clear on this matter. The right to bear arms worked in concert with efforts towards black abolition and equality, not against it.
Finally, there is the Native Americans. Many intellectuals try to make the case that the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights to ensure that white colonists would have the means to displace Indian populations and spread further west. The first issue with this argument is that the Founding Fathers left an abundance of records detailing their intent with regards to the Constitution, and none of the Federalist Papers or their accompanying documents make mention of ethnic cleansing as the reason for an armed citizenry. It is also false that bands of private citizens with their family musket were the primary enforcers of relocating Native American communities. Of course, the Indian conflicts in the colonial period were mostly categorized by Puritan militias clashing with a variety of tribes but mostly the Iroquois over control of NorthWestern fur trade.
However, by 1763 British regulars were responsible for guarding the border. Also, by this point, beaver fur had largely gone out of style in Europe, making the trapper routes far less lucrative. By the time of the Constitutional Convention, individual settlers would occasionally skirmish with restless braves, but an organized military handled any real conflict between America and tribal confederations. Of course, there were unforgivable crimes by both parties as westward expansion lumbered on. Still, the most egregious sins committed by America (the Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee, etc.) were undertaken by the U.S. cavalry, not mobs of armed citizens. This is not even to mention that the greatest tragedy to befall the Indians and kill ninety percent of their population was the plague. A tragic accident, but one that has little to do with weapons of any kind.
It is also important to note that modern Native Americans are a semi-sovereign nation, and because of this cannot count on police protection in the same way regular citizens can. As a result, crime rates in Indian reserves have steadily increased since the 90s. Many tribal people have begun seeing private gun ownership as a means of curbing this uptick in crime while simultaneously maintaining their independence.
Any attempt to suggest gun rights have been used as a means to oppress marginalized communities in America is, at best, historically illiterate and, at worst, cynical lying. There is a once-popular saying in America:
God made man, Sam Colt made men equal, and John Browning kept men free.
This is the true nature of guns in America. This article did not have time to go over groups like the Pink Pistols who use weapons to protect gays from homophobic related attacks, or that the Haitian revolutionaries only declared their full independence from France when Napoleon tried to disarm the population of freed slaves. However, these are equally important examples. Access to cheap and reliable firearms has been one of the greatest tools for Mans ever-continuing drive towards equality and freedom.
Posted: at 10:08 am
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Posted: at 10:08 am
Second Amendment Sanctuaries in New Jersey Will Start Turning Things Around, iStock-884194316
New Jersey -(AmmoLand.com)- While the Second Amendment sanctuary movement a form of civil disobedience that is proving particularly effective has really taken off in Virginia, and it is also making huge strides in Kentucky, it is also taking off in one of the states that has historically been extremely hostile to our rights. New Jersey has seen the movement arrive as well.
According to Alexander Roubian of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, two towns in the Garden State have already declared themselves as Second Amendment sanctuary jurisdictions, while we are aware of dozens of others that are supportive of passing similar measures. We have been working non-stop to help spread resolutions to towns and cities throughout New Jersey with a tremendous amount of positive feedback.
One can look at the summaries of the Virginia and New Jersey laws available via NRA-ILAs web site and ask if the movement does any good in the latter state. One thing New Jersey lacks that Virginia has is a specific provision in the state constitution protecting the right to keep and bear arms.
Now, New Jerseys constitution does declare that citizens have rights when it comes to defending life, protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety but somehow, the officials in New Jersey have gotten away with infringing on the right to own the implements that are the best at achieving those objectives. Despite that current state of illogic, Roubian still sees signs of hope in New Jersey.
While there is a much more restrictive baseline for Second Amendment rights in New Jersey, we commend the law enforcement officers that have always honored and respected the Second Amendment in our State and expedite gun permits while others claim it takes 6-12 months to process an application. There are many police departments that already do the right thing when it comes to an individual making a hyper-technical violation of New Jersey's draconian and discriminatory gun-licensing scheme and we commend those officers and departments, he said in an email.
Oftentimes, these efforts have not made the news. The New Jersey Second Amendment Society has worked to convince police officers and prosecutors to exercise discretion when it comes to the states laws, and in many cases, those Roubian describes as good Samaritans who made an honest mistake with no criminal intent often are granted pre-trial intervention.
In the extreme cases where discretion was not exercised, like that of Shaneen Allen, a single mother who crossed into New Jersey and was then targeted by an anti-Second Amendment prosecutor after a routine traffic stop, the New Jersey Second Amendment Society was able to get Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey at the time, to issue a pardon.
Even as the New Jersey legislature prepares to push more anti-Second Amendment legislation, Roubians group has also pursued legal action, with great success. Even with the cards stacked against our rights we have had many legal victories to push back against New Jerseys laws. One legal victory resulted in the awarding of $90,000 in legal fees.
These victories are small steps to ending the unacceptable situation in the Garden State. It goes without saying that it would be far better to stop such laws, and Second Amendment supporters in Virginia are fighting to do just that. The Lobby Day of January 20 is coming up and the advice of Jeff Knox and the Virginia Citizens Defense League should be heeded. For more information on the work the New Jersey Second Amendment Society is doing, go to http://www.NJ2AS.org.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.