With their majority soon reaching its end, Republican leaders of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors are pressing ahead with a vote that would proclaim the county a so-called “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

Board Chairman Corey Stewart introduced a resolution Tuesday that follows the example of more rural Virginia counties.  The non-binding resolution would oppose expected efforts in the state legislature next year to put added restrictions on gun owners and firearm sales.

The board will consider the resolution in its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. 

With a chuckle, Stewart said he’d hoped the board’s last meeting of the year would be “very quiet” and “non-contentious.” He then presented his resolution to the board, modeled after those approved in more than two dozen other localities in the state.

After years of being stonewalled by GOP leaders in the legislature, gun law reforms are expected to have a much better chance of success next year due to Democrats winning majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. Potential firearms restrictions were one of the biggest campaign topics in November’s election. 

Although no formal opinion has been issued on the validity of “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions, even supporters suggest it’s largely ceremonial and not enforceable. In Prince William, it also would likely be short-lived.

That’s because the new year will also usher in new Democratic leadership, with the board of supervisors shifting from a 6-2 Republican majority to a 5-3 Democratic majority when new members take their oaths in early January.

In a statement Monday, Chair-elect Ann Wheeler, a Democrat, said the sanctuary resolution appears to be in protest to election results as Democrats ran on a promise to address gun safety in Virginia.

“I want to be clear — any efforts by the outgoing board to hamper the enforcement of gun safety legislation passed in Virginia will be immediately repealed when the new board takes office in January,” she said. “Change has come to Prince William County. The residents voted and the board will reflect their voice.”

According to a recent statewide poll, public opinion doesn’t appear to be with Stewart on the issue. The results from the Roanoke College survey released this week found broad support for increasing background checks on gun sales (84% favor) and support for court orders taking away guns if it’s believed an owner would harm themselves (76% favor). A majority also favored a ban on the sale of assault rifles (57% favor).

Since the election, gun owners have pressed the Prince William board to take a stand — during a Nov. 26 meeting, they wore bright orange stickers that read “Guns save lives.” Speakers claim their gun rights are enshrined in the state and U.S. constitutions.

The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Support for the amendment has been the bedrock of many challenges to gun law reforms on the state and national levels.

At the board meeting Tuesday, public comments were split between supporters and opponents of the proposed resolution. 

“What worries me is taking away ‘we the people’s’ rights of gun ownership,” said Manassas-area resident Bill Gary.

Joan Cantor, one of several volunteers wearing “Moms Demand Action” T-shirts, said she doesn’t want to see a precedent set of allowing local counties to decide which state laws they should enforce.

“I think many of us can come together and say, whatever the laws are, we should follow them,” she said.

Stewart said he is doing what he thinks is right.

“Unfortunately, in pre-file legislation in the General Assembly, there’s a number of bills that would curb Second Amendment rights in Virginia, and obviously people are really concerned about that,” Stewart told InsideNoVa. “I was surprised at the level of very vocal concerns that were expressed … and obviously that these ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ resolutions have been popping up all over the state.” 

Indeed, Rappahannock and Culpeper county’s boards of supervisors approved “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions Monday and Tuesday, joining the other localities.

Brentsville resident John Lane said at the meeting that he understood the resolution would be largely symbolic and easily overturned in January.

Nevertheless, he added, “I think it’s a statement worth making.”

(25) comments

va_hunter

I have a question for GREG HAMBRICK AND EMILY SIDES, this "statewide" poll is it this one https://www.roanoke.edu/about/news/rc_poll_politics_general_assembly that says "The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research interviewed 609 Virginia residents between Nov. 10 and Nov. 20 and has a margin of error of +4 percent." Cause if it is I wouldn't consider 609 people a statewide poll

swandive

It's obvious most of you people have NOT read SB16 and are basing your fears on ignorance and false 2nd hand information

yellowz51

New Prince William County Board Chair Ann Wheeler is a certified nut job and has no business leading Prince William County, Under her leadership we will be the Virginia equivalent of Maryland's Prince Georges county. Need I say more!

Corey just wants a last spotlight on himself as he prepares to leave county gov't forever.(thank God and Greyhound he's gone! NO ONE wants to take law abiding citizens' guns away and I am sick of hearing that. We need universal background checks for criminal and mental history of ANYONE who tries to buy a gun. Its just common sense to do what we can and all we can to keep guns out of the hands of those who are killing our children and other innocents. Right wing needs to stop screaming that their gun rights are being taken away. What are they afraid of? If they don't intend on using their guns to harm others then there is nothing to complain about with background checks. Makes me suspicious of their motives. I repeat....NO ONE Is trying to take lawfully owned guns away from anyone. Its really getting old to have to keep hearing that.

va_hunter

I don't understand why you say "NO ONE Is trying to take lawfully owned guns away from anyone." If I own a Glock 19 with a standard capacity magazine https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g19 It would no longer be legal under the proposed bill

Read the darn bill and the description of assault weapons. Your Glock is not affected....get a grip and stop sharing fake news

"Prohibiting sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms and certain firearm magazines; penalties. Expands the definition of "assault firearm" and prohibits any person from importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, or transporting an assault firearm. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory an assault firearm to any person. The bill also prohibits a person from carrying a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered in a public place; under existing law, this prohibition applies only in certain localities. The bill makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to import, sell, barter, or transfer any firearm magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition."

Assault weapons" are defined as a semi-automatic, centerfire, firearm equipped with a folding stock, or equipped at the time with a magazine capable of holding more than 20 rounds, or capable of accommodating a silencer/suppressor.

JustAnotherDisappointedHuman

Oh, but it /is/

"A. For the purposes of this section:

... 1 and 2 refer to rifles ...

3. A semi-automatic center-fire pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds;"

Read the whole thing, don't cherry pick. Legislation is typically convoluted, fragmented and difficult to keep all the related sections straight.

This bill, as well as SB64, could have been better written by a 9th grade civics class.

hello190

SB16 makes possession of common firearms a class 6 felony. Just possession, not using it during a crime or anything. Any firearm that is capable of holding more than 10 rounds, or rifles with certain features, banned. Many popular firearms currently owned by many Virginians would be affected. There is no grandfathering, amnesty or any sort of period which would make currently owned firearms legal to keep; either get rid of it or become a felon.

If you don't think that's taking guns away or restricting a right, nothing will convince you. Many people are upset because they have been nothing but responsible gun owners yet this and many other bills would turn them into felons.

Read the darn bill and the description of assault weapons. Why does the right wing insist on their own interpretation so they can use as scare tactics to rile people up . I they own an assault weapon then it should be taken away but 'normal' guns....nope...they are just fine to have.

"Prohibiting sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms and certain firearm magazines; penalties. Expands the definition of "assault firearm" and prohibits any person from importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, or transporting an assault firearm. A violation is a Class 6 felony. The bill prohibits a dealer from selling, renting, trading, or transferring from his inventory an assault firearm to any person. The bill also prohibits a person from carrying a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered in a public place; under existing law, this prohibition applies only in certain localities. The bill makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to import, sell, barter, or transfer any firearm magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition."

******Assault weapons are defined as a semi-automatic, centerfire, firearm equipped with a folding stock, or equipped at the time with a magazine capable of holding more than 20 rounds, or capable of accommodating a silencer/suppressor.

va_hunter

TBORNOTTB you wrote it yourself "The bill makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to import, sell, barter, or transfer any firearm magazine designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition." did you not read the specs of the Glock 19 or many other hand guns

tman

Honest question - I have a few guns with magazines larger than 10 rounds, including a sig semi-auto handgun with 12 round clip and a 1940s Army carbine with several 15 round clips. Neither is an 'assault rifle'. Are these affected? The handgun is 10 years old, the rifle is an antique.

I support the bump stock ban, bumps were designed to get around the stamp requirement for full auto. I get the intent for clip capacity limits (particularly when a drum and bump stock combined creates a LV war zone) but doubt it will have the desired effect.

tman

Found the bill text. It pretty clearly outlaws anything over 10 rounds as an assault weapon. That includes a lot of weapons.

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+SB16+hil

school

That is correct. The person posting otherwise is copying the readers digest version but not reading the actual changes to the law. Most common handguns will become illegal as is since they are sold with 12, 15 or 17 round capacity magazines UNLESS the owner destroys those magazines and buys new, lower capacity ones. The relevant statement in the law’s definition of assault firearm is:

“A semi-automatic center-fire pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds”

larryclyons

What most gun fanatics forget is the first part of the Second Amendment and its reference to a Well Regulated Militia. The entire amendment refers to the right of the state to protect itself with a well regulated militia. That phrase well regulated militia has very specific meanings according to George Washington. From Washington’s very first State of the Union on January 8, 1790.

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

Washington was speaking on the need for states to ensure that their militia were well trained and supplied. A trained and well supplied state militia were essential to the security of the United States because the founders did not want a large Federal army.

Despite the propaganda, the original intent was quite clear, this is a State's Right, not an individual one. But I expect that the firearm fanatics will be all against that, citing recent court arguments etc. What is interesting is that they are all for States Rights and Original Intent, until they're not.

icrazyhorse

To go against Virginia state policy on gun control, if passed, is a BAD IDEA and could result in loss of state funds for PWC. Please vote NO on the Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.

insidebugging

Yep let’s take away the rights of Prince William county citizen’s to defend themselves while at the same time open the floodgates of ever single illegal alien and MS-13 gangster in America to come move into our neighborhood. That’s liberal logic for you, but don’t worry they have a plan to tax you to death so they can fund “programs” to help all the illegals.

hello190

I definitely understand the concerns of people worried about their Constitutional rights. They have done nothing wrong, yet reading the bills, they are definitely the targets.

Currently, some of the bills only target currently-legal firearms or accessories, and bans them outright; no grandfathering, no amnesty period. Not criminal actions being targeted, just banning of inanimate objects. And possession if you don't comply? A felony. The democrats know what they're doing. Bloomberg money bought this election and they owe him big by passing draconian gun laws.

Currently, hundreds of thousands of Virginians will become felons if these laws pass, through no fault of their own. People against civilian gun ownership will applaud this move though since it's a right they don't agree with. But this will affect ordinary citizens who want to legally buy and own a firearm for recreation, competition shooting or self defense. And these bills will ban a large selection of affordable, dependable firearms under the guise of public safety. We shouldn't be restricting the rights of ordinary citizens who have committed no crime. It's like we have forgotten or no longer accept individual responsibility in this country.

FBI's Uniform Crime Report for 2018 shows that in Virginia, a total of 8 murders were carried out with rifles of all types; this isn't just "assault rifles", but any kind of rifle. Knives were used in 30 murders, almost 4 times the number of murders with rifles. Where's the outrage on knives?

You can ban whatever, someone who carries hate in their heart and wants to murder someone will find a way, THAT'S what we should be focusing on, not the inanimate part of the equation. I'm more worried about violent criminals and crazy people out and about in our society than what kind of firearm is available for sale. You hear stories all the time of cities trying to be softer in crime releasing a dangerous, repeat criminal who is put on probation only to commit a similar or more severe crime when they're out. A human being is making the plans and carrying out these murders, wouldn't you rather work to prevent or eliminate that kind of behavior so they don't even get to the point of murdering someone? I think that's more effective than trying to pass laws banning things to try and change criminal behavior.

We haven't learned from the Patriot Act. We're giving up our rights, giving the government more power and control over our lives and people applaud this. The government nor the police is responsible for your safety even though they may push for these laws. Disarming yourself with the hopes of criminals doing the same is not the way to solve this issue. You are your own first responder.

Warren v. District of Columbia

Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales

Lozito v. New York City

DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services

"Judge finds schools, sheriff's office had no constitutional duty to protect Parkland students"

Bigfoot

"In a statement Monday, Chair-elect Ann Wheeler, a Democrat, said the sanctuary resolution appears to be in protest to election results as Democrats ran on a promise to address gun safety in Virginia."

No. Not a protest to the results of the election but a statement that needs to be made that a very large number of PWC residents want the right to be able to own their guns without interference from the local govt. You know, the law abiding citizens?

InsideCommenter

It goes to show you how that there are two worlds now, one the world of reality, and the other a fantasy land created by the conservative propaganda machine preying on consumed by angry people filled with fear. Where even one change or one new law is exaggerated and extrapolated to the worst extent.

When people talk about dystopian futures we are already living one. It is next to impossible to have a conversation with a large percentage of folks, who see the other side as evil monsters coming to destroy their way of life. I've seen it from so many commentators on this sight how far this rot goes. I pray that one day people will rise from this madness, but that seems far from the truth. In a world where laws created on evidence based practice such as red-flag laws, laws like universal background checks something 90% of the American public approves are seen as gun-grabbing attempts?! The reality is gun laws have been shown to work, and common sense measures adopted in places like Canada, Switzerland, and New Zealand all places where people hunt and keep guns have been time and time again been proven.

hello190

Red flag laws have been used to harass gun owners. They're the new "Swatting" and it targets people solely because they own guns. Some people in our country would not mind if law abiding gun owners were shot dead solely because they own guns legally and these red flag laws are being used to do just that, state sponsored violence against gun owners based on the word of an accuser. That's where we are in this country. These orders are typically heard ex parte, only hearing one side then brands the accused as a criminal without any proof of any impending wrongdoing, yet sends police to take guns away. I'm all for reporting legitimate threats but far too often, false reports are filed with no punishment to the accuser.

Just because the public approves of something does not mean they are in any way informed or experts on the subject. A large number of Americans once approved of slavery and lynching blacks based on the word of an accuser (ring a bell?), that doesn't mean it's a good thing.

We have the facts on gun deaths in the US; the majority of deaths involving firearms are suicides, the people need help with mental health, not the passing of more gun control laws. Perpetrators of mass shootings either illegally obtained their weapons or purchased them legally before committing their crime. Many mass shooters showed warning signs, made threats but were not followed up on. Waiting periods would not do much as these shootings are planned and carried out on a later date, a waiting period would not dissuade them from carrying out their plans. Most street criminals get their guns from the black market, theft, or from acquaintances via straw purchases, which is difficult to identify and prevent. UBCs would do little to curb these numbers, all while adding hoops, delays and costs to lawful gun ownership.

I didn't buy the whole "gun grabbing" months ago. But after the elections, these bills being submitted by the dems are literally gun grabbing and mostly targeting the law abiding, there is no way to say otherwise. They are going after common firearms, common magazine capacities (anything above 10 rounds is considered high capacity and banned), and features that don't do much but allow the user to operate the firearm safely and comfortably. If you don't comply (like many Virginians who currently own these common firearms), you are instantly a felon for possession. I can't see how making felons out of people unlikely to commit a crime will make Virginia any safer.

InsideCommenter

Four paragraphs entirely consisting of outright lies, hasty generalizations, among many other logical fallacies.

"We have the facts on gun deaths in the US; the majority of deaths involving firearms are suicides, the people need help with mental health, not the passing of more gun control laws."

This is why we need psychological testing, and universal background checks to see if someone has a mental health issues, or a criminal record before giving them a tool which used incorrectly is quite fatal. Not to mention this mental health excuse doesn't explain all mass shootings, and it tends to be a stereotypical tag just slapped on shooters like the Charleston shooter, who didn't show any mental health issues but was instead a *terrorist* however because of subconscious bias this strongly evident motive was ignored.

"Just because the public approves of something does not mean they are in any way informed or experts on the subject. A large number of Americans once approved of slavery and lynching blacks based on the word of an accuser (ring a bell?), that doesn't mean it's a good thing."

I guarantee you you would using public statistics if people, were strongly for resolutions or ideas that you supported. Not to mention universal background checks have been proven to work, and equating slavery/lynching with universal background checks makes zero sense.

"We have the facts on gun deaths in the US; the majority of deaths involving firearms are suicides, the people need help with mental health"

This is partially my point a lot of these ammosexuals who are buying firearms for protection, use them in suicides, or domestic violence rather than for protection. Using firearms in a potential robbery or trespass situation is idiotic, and further complicates law enforcement as it is difficult to track down, the source of shots, and people get killed in the crossfire.

"I didn't buy the whole "gun grabbing" months ago. But after the elections, these bills being submitted by the dems are literally gun grabbing and mostly targeting the law abiding"

This is just empty rhetoric that can't be proven, frankly the fact that you went into conspiracy theories regarding red-flag laws, something frequent on right-wing conspiracy sights leads me to believe you are lying. No one in the legislature is calling for forced buybacks, or swatting law abiding gun owners firearms. I fully support the right to bear firearms within reason, and my family has owned firearms for generations. Hunting is an important part of rural, and exurban life and I don't think anyone liberal or conservative wants to ban every single firearm, and rip up the 2nd amendment, that is a lie propagated by people who want you to stay mad and give them money.

KGreeley

You have clearly not read SB16 or SB64 to understand the language used to revoke the 2A rights of all Virginian. Not to mention the implications of localities creating a different set of restrictions being more than the state, Driving county to county could make someone a criminal not knowing where their rights being or end within the state. While you make feel safer to cede your rights, many people do not. Polls that you state are not factual in any base and are repeated for effect.

You are correct.....they have NOT read it and I am ab out ready to call out one of them on that. The bill addresses only assault weapons and if anyone owns one of those they should have it taken away

icrazyhorse

Great comment - right on !!!

InsideCommenter

And most important of all Virginia is a Dillon Rule Commonwealth meaning localities such as Prince William have no rights to make ordinances in areas the General Assembly has not given there express consent to. Every single 2nd amendment sanctuary has no legal binding, and anyone who refuses to enforce such a law is subject to arrest, based off hearings most sheriffs even in rural red counties like King George County Virginia have only paid lip service to the resolution and have quietly vowed to enforce any new laws regardless.

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