The “Second Amendment Sanctuary” movement that began in Virginia has gone national — with hundreds of counties and localities across the nation now declaring themselves to be standing against any new gun laws in their prospective states.
The counties and localities are joining at least 91 out of 95 counties in Virginia that have declared themselves “sanctuaries” against laws that infringe upon the Second Amendment, such as Red Flag laws.
The Hill tallied up the new areas joining the movement and found that at least 83 counties nationwide joined the movement this month, following 131 last month — even in states such as Mississippi which do not have any new gun control measures on the table. Their report noted that the counties joining the movement over the past couple of months join hundreds of others who have already made the declaration.
“Localities declaring themselves as sanctuaries hail from a broad range of states, from those seen as having stronger protections for gun owners such as Kentucky and Texas to those seen as having stricter gun control laws such as Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon,” the report explains.
Gun Owners of America, a pro-Second Amendment organization, has been helping counties to draft legislation and organize citizen petitions.
“When a state starts denying the constitutionally protected rights of its citizens, then it is completely legitimate for officials at lower levels to step in and protect citizens,” Erich Pratt, the senior vice president of Guns Owners of America, told The Hill.
Though anti-gun activists and politicians have been attacking the movement, more counties continue to try to join it. A vote will take place in Gaston County in North Carolina on Tuesday to determine if they, too, will become a sanctuary. The legislation is expected to pass.
At least six nearby counties in North Carolina have already declared themselves to be gun sanctuaries.
“It’s been a battle,” Gaston County Commissioner Chad Brown told WCNC. “You see what’s happening right now in Virginia. I’m proud to be one of the counties in North Carolina that’s standing up for our Second Amendment.”