By: Adrienne Wallace | Email: Click Here
Posted: December 1, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – Prince George may become one of the Commonwealth’s Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties since backers have requested support from the Board of Supervisors to support that cause.
Set for a Dec. 10 meeting, supervisors will discuss and possibly vote on joining more than seven Sanctuary Counties in Virginia including neighboring Dinwiddie County.
Others include Charlotte County, Campbell County, Carroll County, Appomattox County, Patrick County, and Pittsylvania County. Last week, neighboring localities Dinwiddie and Sussex also passed similar sanctuary county resolutions.
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” a proposed resolution reads. “Certain legislation in 2019’s session of the Virginia General Assembly and certain legislation introduced in the current session of the United States Congress could have the effect of infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
This has come after Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Virginia, said he will reintroduce restrictions on gun rights in the upcoming legislative sessions now that Democrats have taken control of the state legislature. He supports a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and reinstating Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month law.
Keith Johnson, a Hopewell business owner and champion of the issue, presented a Second Amendment resolution to county leaders in support of the cause, saying that it’s picking up a lot of steam through a partnership with the National League of Civil Liberties.
The goal, he said, is to “oppose unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.”
Prince George has a couple templates of resolution and Supervisors Chairman Donald Hunter said it’s unclear which one will be set for the Dec. 10 agenda or if it will appear as a consensus item or in another area.
However, he expects it to come forward through a consensus vote. Most of those resolutions approved in Virginia include “Article 1, Section 13, of the Constitution of Virginia provides “that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”
“I am supporting it, and feel like the majority of the board is supporting it,” Hunter said in a phone interview. “I believe in supporting the resolution because I believe in the second amendment – it’s one of our rights.”
Hunter grew up in Prince George and hunted starting in his childhood. “My daddy gave me a BB gun when I was 10 and a shotgun a few years later,” he recalled. “I’m a county boy, hunted all my life, and have been a policeman for 37 years.”
The former sheriff served in law enforcement for 33 years in Prince George with about 10 years as sheriff, one year in Richmond and three years in the Air Force.
“I think it’s a right worth protecting,” the board chairman added.
While many advocates of the Second Amendment sanctuary cause, have expressed concern over what laws may pass through the General Assembly prohibiting gun rights, the newly elected candidates haven’t taken office yet.
“I don’t know what the General Assembly is going to do, but I know a lot of the community supports this and state-wide there are concerns about changes to gun rights,” Hunter noted. “If the people say we need to do it, I support what the people of our community want as long as it is not harmful to the county.”
Late last week, recently re-elected Republican senator Frank Ruff, who represents portions of Prince George and Dinwiddie County shared his thoughts on the just concluded election cycle, where Democrats earned a majority in both chambers of the General Assembly.
“The Governor and many in the Democrat Party have focused their campaigns on abolishing the Second Amendment to the Constitution,” the Republican senator remarked. “… assault rifles and large capacity ammunition clips are only their first step. When this fails to end the mentally unstable from harming others, they will continue step by step to make all who own firearms for whatever reason into criminals if they do not turn in their firearms.
“They shade their contempt on gun owners by saying they have nothing against hunting and hunters, fully knowing that hunting was not the reason for the Second Amendment,” he added, saying that the patriots who had fought the British army were focused on the need for our communities to protect themselves from those who would take our freedoms away.
Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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