Virginia group wants to create sanctuary cities — for guns

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The Virginia Citizens Defense League hopes localities will simply ignore new gun violence laws that may be passed by the new Democratic majority in Richmond.

Virginia Democrats won a majority in both the state's House of Delegates and Senate on Tuesday, promising action on gun violence among a spate of other progressive priorities.

In response, one of Virginia's most prominent gun rights groups is now urging localities to simply ignore what new gun laws get passed next year in the General Assembly.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a statewide organization with a large political action committee and close relationships with prominent Virginia Republicans, expressed its anger over the election results in a Facebook post on Thursday.

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"Of the four possible results, yesterday's elections provided the worst scenario for gun owners in Virginia and one that VCDL has been warning about for almost a year," the group wrote, blaming the results not on public support for "gun control" but on the court-ordered redistricting that impacted some of the House races.

"While we don't have a firewall to stop bad gun bills from becoming law, we are not helpless," the group vowed. "We can push for more Second Amendment Sanctuary Localities, like Carroll County, which will refuse to enforce unconstitutional gun laws. Sheriffs and other law enforcement have no obligation to enforce unconstitutional laws, either."

The group also promised court challenges and heavy lobbying of more moderate Democrats as ways to stop gun legislation.

Virginia is a strong "Dillon Rule" state, meaning that local governments can generally only pass laws with the express permission of the state government. Under that court precedent, localities cannot legally just opt-out of state laws they do not like.

Virginia's elections on Tuesday marked a major sea change for the state legislature which had not been controlled in both chambers by Democrats for more than two decades.

Among other things, Democrats say they hope to tackle important issues such as ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, addressing voting rights and the minimum wage, and passing legislation to protect LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights, in addition to gun control.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.