More than 100 Virginia cities, counties declare themselves gun sanctuaries as Dems prepare to take legislature

Dozens of Virginia counties and cities are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries in an apparent revolt against the state legislature’s proposals for new firearm restrictions.

The movement has gained so much steam that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued an advisory opinion reminding residents that such “sanctuary” resolutions had no standing.

“It is my opinion that these resolutions have no legal effect,” Herring said in a letter issued Friday. “It is my further opinion that localities and local constitutional officers cannot nullify state laws and must comply with gun violence prevention measures that the General Assembly may enact.”

The Associated Press reports that more than 100 cities, towns and counties have passed such resolutions.

The controversy came just before Democrats take control of both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates for the first time since 1996. Gov. Ralph Northam already pledged to pass “common-sense gun safety legislation” after the November election.

The new General Assembly is expected to vote on two bills in particular — SB 18 and SB 16 — which would ban assault weapons, raise the minimum age of purchase to 21 and require background checks for any firearm transfer.

“It’s just the invasion of someone’s personal rights,” Jim Wood, owner of a Staunton gun shop, told WHSV.

Wood told the Harrisonburg outlet that the Second Amendment “plainly states that we’re allowed to bear arms.”

“When they start picking apart at it, then all of a sudden it becomes the anti-gun laws that they’ve had in other countries,” he said…

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