2A Sanctuary Cities Movement Growing
“Sanctuary cities” willfully not enforcing the law is a strategy to resist recent crackdowns on illegal immigration. Some 600 immigration sanctuaries in the United States bar the use of local funds or law enforcement manpower to assist federal agencies in enforcing immigration laws.
Certain Second Amendment proponents are hoping that the same strategy will work when it comes to combating gun control. Approximately 275 local jurisdictions in the United States have pledged not to enforce gun laws they believe are infringements on the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of the right to bear arms. The number of these Second Amendment sanctuaries has rapidly increased over the past year.
It’s not an entirely new concept within the gun rights movement. From the Wyoming Firearms Freedom Act in 2010 to the Alaska Firearms Act in 2013, states are enacting their policies to buck federal authorities where possible and more clearly define Second Amendment freedoms. These policies come as a reaction to the passage of some of the strictest gun laws on the books over the last decade and a half in jurisdictions of densely populated metropolitan areas, like Chicago and New York City.
Virginia has made its share of recent headlines following a rapid spread of Second Amendment Sanctuaries. Six counties so far have adopted sanctuary resolutions, and at least nine are considering them, as the state’s new Democratic majority is poised to pass new restrictive gun laws during the next General Assembly.
Texas, with surprisingly modest gun rights protections on the books, has seen 19 of its 254 counties and two towns adopt Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions. Even pro-life, anti-abortion advocates have jumped on the sanctuary strategy bandwagon, as six “unborn sanctuary” cities have been declared in rural East Texas.
All four of Alaska’s boroughs, Wyoming’s 23 counties, and Kansas’s 105 counties (by virtue of its Second Amendment Protection Act in 2013) can already be considered gun sanctuaries because of the state laws on the books. These states vigorously defend the right to bear arms, even for their urban areas in which local Second Amendment Sanctuary policies would likely fail or face considerable difficulty.
Meanwhile, the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement has gained steam in states without laws as strong as Kansas, Alaska, or Wyoming. Among individual county commissioners courts and city councils in these pockets of the United States, gun owners’ voices are clearly heard and represented in more significant numbers. Hunters, shooting sports advocates, and those who own guns to survive out among the natural elements vote in statistically significant blocs.
But without state laws on the books that more clearly define and strengthen Second Amendment freedoms, the maps in those other 47 states will be spotty. State-level action is needed to defend the rights of gun owners in urban areas where homicide statistics tend to be higher and where even having an unregistered gun at home can result in jail time.
Andy Hogue is a longtime veteran of legislative politics and journalism. He makes frequent appearances on television and radio shows in the Austin area, his writing has appeared in numerous national and international media outlets. He has served as speechwriter for two state officials, publicity director for several projects at The Alamo, and was constituent services director for one of the last conservative Austin City Councilmen. For fun he likes to unload 13 rounds from his Browning Hi-Power.