Virginia counties declare gun sanctuaries, but experts say they ‘don’t have force of law’

December 13, 2019, 8:54 PM

A wave of resolutions have been passed in Virginia counties, declaring sanctuaries and constitutional havens in support of the Second Amendment as a new Democratic majority prepares to take over the state General Assembly in January.

But what do they really mean?

“I think it’s a form of political protest,” said Richard Schragger, Perre Bowen professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law. “Obviously, it’s caught a certain amount of fire in Virginia.”

This week, Prince William and Spotsylvania counties became some of the latest to pass resolutions affirming their commitment to residents’ rights to keep and carry guns.

In the end, Prince William’s resolution may be short-lived and is likely to be reversed when a new board of supervisors led by Democrats takes control in the county, according to a statement from incoming supervisor Ann Wheeler that was made days before that vote.

Fauquier County seems poised to pass its own resolution in support of gun rights in the coming days. After a public comment period that lasted more than four hours Thursday night and amid concerns about the resolution’s wording, the county’s board decided to delay the vote on their resolution in support of Second Amendment rights until Dec. 23.


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