‘Such a resolution is not legally binding, but an expression of public stance’
Some call it an extension of paranoia first seen with the election of Barack Obama, and further fueled by the entry and rhetoric of Donald Trump. Others say it’s a political response to Democrats gaining a stronger foothold in Virginia after recent voting.
But supporters of the “Second Amendment Sanctuary” movement — which began out West nine years ago and has slowly spread East — say it’s simply about the right to bear arms without additional state restrictions.
Now, at its next scheduled meeting on Monday, Dec. 2, the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors will consider following in the footsteps of other Virginia counties that have declared themselves “2A,” or Second Amendment sanctuaries.
According to its preliminary agenda, Rappahannock County Supervisor Ron Frazier will steer the written request from Bridgewater College senior Dylan Midkiff, a 22-year-old Rappahannock County native from Huntly, that the BOS vote on Rappahannock becoming a 2A sanctuary.
Midkiff wrote to the Rappahannock County government:
“I, Dylan Midkiff, am a concerned citizen of Rappahannock County. I have been following the political battle in our state of Virginia. The current push for legislative actions against legal gun owners, constituents of yours, that are in imminent danger of losing our private property, and infringements of not only our right to bear arms but our right to self defense, is disturbing. Many of us, myself included, grew up in the woods of this county, and have many cherished memories of hunting and target shooting with family and friends. The Second Amendment is something the majority of not only Rappahannock County, but people all over the state of Virginia hold dearly. I am writing you to ask that you put on you agenda a discussion on becoming a 2A Sanctuary County, which would involve not supporting any law passed on the state level that cannot be upheld when challenged against the Constitution.
“There have been a few states that have implemented red flag laws, magazine capacity limits, and even legislation that would ban anyone under 18 years of age from even handling firearms, and if they do, the parent or guardian is liable for Class 6 felony. This will effectively end the traditions many of your citizens have of bringing their children into the woods to teach them many life lessons while hunting. I would like to bring to your attention that none of these laws have made it to court. The cases are dropped, because they are incapable of being upheld. There have even been many innocent deaths in executing read flag laws. Innocent civilians killed in their homes, their own living rooms, peacefully resting in their chairs.
“These are only some of the reasons I ask to uphold the Second Amendment of the United States of America's Constitution, also Virginia's Constitution, as per Article 1, Section 13. To guarantee the safety of this county’s citizens, I request to become a 2A Sanctuary County. This is a movement through not only the state of Virginia but the entire United States, by counties and parishes who love and respect not only the Second Amendment but the Constitution of the United State of America. Counties in Virginia are already acting to create sanctuaries for their Second Amendment loving, law abiding citizens. You have the power to protect your citizens’ rights, will you?
“Respectfully, Dylan Midkiff.”
The lengthy Rappahannock resolution surrounding Midkiff’s request reads in part:
“WHEREAS, the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors is concerned about about the passage of any bill containing language which could be interpreted as infringing the rights of the citizens of Rappahannock County to keep and bear arms… [the resolution would] direct the law enforcement and employees of Rappahannock County to not enforce any unconstitutional law.”
Such a resolution, if approved, is not legally binding, but an expression of public stance as interpreted by elected representatives.
The same holds true for 2A resolutions passed recently in Pittsylvania, Campbell, Appomattox, Charlotte, Carroll, Dinwiddie, Dickenson, Lee, Nottoway, Patrick, and Giles counties in Virginia. Numerous other counties in Virginia are similarly considering 2A resolutions.
A majority of counties in the states of Illinois, Washington, Colorado and New Mexico are already 2A Sanctuaries, as are dozens of counties in numerous states stretching from Maryland to Florida, Rhode Island to Arizona.
Reached on Sunday, Midkiff told the News of his request: “I believe that the board will recognize and stand behind the citizens of Rappahannock and their rights.”