Mathews County declares itself a ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’; York passes ‘constitutional’ resolution

Local Politics

DENVER – SEPTEMBER 13: A Colt AR-15, now legal with a bayonet mount, flash suppressor, collapsible stock and a high capacity magazine that holds more than 30 rounds, sits on the counter of Dave’s Guns September 13, 2004 in Denver, Colorado. Between 1994 and September 13, 2004 these guns could only be sold to law enforcement and military but now it is legal for civilians to purchase them due to the expiration of the Brady Bill. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Two more Virginia localities discussed and passed two Second Amendment-related resolutions Tuesday as the statewide gun rights discussion continues.

The Mathews County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Meanwhile, several hours later, the York County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to declare itself a “constitutional” county, affirming its support of the Constitution but not becoming a Second Amendment “sanctuary.”

According to one resolution, the Mathews County Board of Supervisors is “concerned about the passage of any bill containing language which could be interpreted as infringing on the rights of the citizens of Mathews County to keep and bear arms or could begin a slippery slope of restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Mathews County.”

The resolution was passed at the Mathews board’s regular monthly meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Some localities, like York County, have passed resolutions affirming their commitment to upholding the U.S. Constitution, but do not contain language about being a “sanctuary.”

Mathews and York are two of the latest localities in Virginia to pass Second Amendment-related resolutions affirming their commitment to upholding the Constitution and/or Second Amendment.

The “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement follows the November election when Democrats were elected to become the majority in both the state Senate and House of Delegates.

Where localities stand on the Second Amendment:

Localities across Virginia are considering the idea of becoming Second Amendment sanctuaries, which are localities that have pledged not to use public resources to enforce any laws they see as unconstitutional. Some have passed resolutions simply in support of citizens’ Second Amendment rights, while others have said discussions on gun laws belong in Richmond.

Here’s the rundown on where area localities stand:

  • Accomack County: The Board of Supervisors did not make the county a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution affirming its commitment to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 18.
  • Chesapeake: City Council did not make the city a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution affirming its commitment to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 10.
  • Exmore: Exmore officials have passed a resolution to become a Second Amendment sanctuary city.
  • Gloucester County: The Board of Supervisors voted to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.
  • Hampton: City Council has not voted on any Second Amendment-related resolution, but hundreds voiced their support at the council meeting Dec. 11. The NAACP also attended and came out against the idea. Mayor said the issue is “premature.”
  • James City County: The Board of Supervisors did not make the county a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution affirming its commitment to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 10.
  • Isle of Wight: The Board of Supervisors did not make the county a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution to affirm its commitments to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment.
  • Mathews County: The Board of Supervisors voted Dec. 17 to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.
  • Newport News: City Council has not voted on any Second Amendment-related resolution, but a large crowd attended a Dec. 10 meeting to voice support for gun rights.
  • Norfolk: City Council has not voted on any Second Amendment-related resolution, but a large crowd of residents voiced their support Dec. 10.
  • Northampton County: The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution expressing its support for the rights of citizens to bear arms under the Second Amendment Dec. 10, but the resolution did not declare it a “sanctuary.”
  • Poquoson: Poquoson City Council voted to become a “Constitutional City” and uphold citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 9.
  • Portsmouth: City Council voted 4-3 in favor of passing a resolution declaring Portsmouth a “Second Amendment Constitutional City” Jan. 14.
  • Southampton County: Southampton officials have passed a resolution to become a Second Amendment sanctuary city.
  • Suffolk: City Council voted on December 16, 2019 in support of a resolution reaffirming Suffolk’s commitment to the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Jan. 15, City Council unanimously voted to amend the resolution to add a paragraph expressing the city’s “deep and abiding commitment to protecting all Constitutional rights” of residents, as well as its opposition to any law, regulation or other act that would unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of citizens, even beyond the Second Amendment. It also strikes two lines.
  • Surry County: County officials did not make the county a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution affirming its commitment to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 5.
  • Virginia Beach: City Council voted Jan. 6 to become a “Second Amendment Constitutional City.”
  • York County: The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Dec. 17 to become a “Constitutional City” and uphold citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment.

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