Grundy County commissioners to entertain a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution
Also known as a gun sanctuary, a Second Amendment Sanctuary refers to municipalities, counties, and states that have adopted laws or resolutions to prohibit or impede the enforcement of certain gun control measures that may be interpreted as violations of the Second Amendment. This can include universal background checks, assault weapon bans, and high-capacity magazine bans. More than 400 municipalities and 20 states have now passed resolutions opposing the enforcement of certain gun laws passed by state or federal lawmakers.
Gun rights supporters coined the term “Second Amendment Sanctuary” as a reflection on the “sanctuary cities” that flourished in the early 2000s as some cities resisted immigration policies. In becoming a sanctuary, local governing bodies adopt a resolution confirming that the locality will not provide resources toward any actions or mandates that infringe on the people’s right to bear arms.
A number of state attorneys across the nation are arguing that sanctuary regulations are largely symbolic and not legally binding and expect there will be court challenges or lawsuits for localities that stop enforcing gun laws.
In the Washington Post, Mary B. McCord, a former acting assistant attorney general for national security, argued that Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions have no legal basis and that only a court can overturn state or federal law.
McCord stated, “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.
The National Rifle Association offered its support of sanctuaries in a December statement:
“Liberty is reliant upon the participation of free people, and this includes the vast number of citizens and communities who ae lawfully exercising their rights under the First Amendment to defend their freedoms under the Second. It is the tyrannical nature of politicians that triggers sanctuary, not the other way around.”
Support from sheriffs
Sheriffs began declaring they would not enforce new gun restrictions when many states passed restrictive gun laws after Sandy Hook in 2013. In New Mexico, 30 of the state’s 33 county sheriffs vocally support gun sanctuaries; in Washington, 24 of the state’s 39 sheriffs have announced support; and all 17 sheriffs in Nevada oppose new gun laws.
Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum wholly supports the movement and feels that gun owning citizens who abide by the law can be an excellent resource.
“When I was elected in 2014, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of Tennessee. Right now, our Second Amendment right is under a vicious and relentless attack,” explained Sheriff Shrum. “I am committed to defending that right for our country, state, and county. I completely and wholly support a resolution that would declare Grundy County a Second Amendment sanctuary. One of the greatest resources any sheriff could have are gun owning, law abiding citizens.”
Counties in East Tennessee have been active in adopting sanctuary resolutions. In the past year, Jefferson, Sevier, Monroe, Blount, and Loudon counties have passed resolutions naming them Second Amendment sanctuaries.
Grundy County commissioners will entertain a resolution to make Grundy County a Second Amendment sanctuary at their meeting on January 27.