Needles, CA – The Needles city council has unanimously voted to declare their small desert town as a sanctuary city for gun owners.
The city of approximately 5,000 people, which borders both Nevada and Arizona, believes that the State of California has imposed too many restrictions on citizens’ Second Amendment rights, the Associated Press reported.
The council has also directed the Needles city attorney to draft a resolution asking state lawmakers to allow licensed gun owners from outside California to carry their firearms within city limits.
Needles City Councilman Tim Terral, who sponsored the “2nd Amendment Sanctuary City” measure, said he doesn’t expect the Democratic-led legislature to honor their request.
Terral also acknowledged that the city used the “sanctuary city” verbiage to push back against California’s designation as a “sanctuary state” for immigration laws.
"They want to pick and choose what they follow," he said of other city and state lawmakers. "It's 'We're going to shield this person, but we're going to go after that person.' And in our opinion they have violated the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution in many ways."
Terral said that he introduced the measure after friends in Arizona told him they wouldn’t come to Needles to visit or make purchases due to the fact that California won’t honor their concealed weapons permits.
“They said, ‘basically it’s because we’re not going to disarm ourselves,'” he told the Associated Press.
Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said that the city’s main goal is to make sure that people traveling through the small city feel comfortable stopping there without having to worry that they could be arrested for a felony for carrying legally registered weapons from their home states.
"We have had that happen," Daniels told the Associated Press. "Now not a lot. Not often. But occasionally that occurs."
City leaders also want Needles residents to be allowed to continue purchasing ammunition from neighboring states – a practice that was recently outlawed by the State of California.
Under the new law, Needles residents will have to travel more than 100 miles to buy ammunition at the nearest in-state retailers, instead of making their purchases in nearby Arizona.
If anyone disagrees with the city’s designation as a Second Amendment sanctuary city, the Associated Press was unable to find them.
After making over a dozen calls to local businesses, not a single resident voiced opposition, the Associated Press reported.