Richmond, VA – Virginia Governor Richard Northam vowed to pass stronger gun-control laws on Wednesday even as the number of “Second Amendment sanctuaries” grew to 70 in his state.
The governor gave a speech in Virginia Beach on Dec. 11 and explained how he intended to deal with the counties and cities that have voted to become gun sanctuaries, WTKR reported.
"There's not going to be retaliation,” Northam said. “That's not what I'm about. I'm about making Virginia safer."
"If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I'll cross that bridge if and when we get to it,” the governor added.
Northam defended the new gun-control laws that he has personally proposed and said they were all constitutional, WTKR reported.
"We're not going to take people's guns away," he said.
The governor offered no specific details about what kind of consequences the sanctuary counties and cities would face, WTKR reported.
"They can continue to have their meetings. They can continue to make sanctuary counties, but we're going to do what Virginians have asked us to do," Northam said.
However, he warned the “Second Amendment sanctuaries” that their behavior was impacting businesses that were considering investments in their communities.
"They have concerns when they hear localities are not going to enforce the laws of the land, so I would say be careful what you're asking for," the governor warned.
After Democrats took control of the state in the November elections, legislators declared they would move quickly to enact new gun-control legislation in the historically pro-gun state, the Culpepper Star-Exponent reported.
In response, local lawmakers began passing resolutions to declare themselves sanctuary counties for guns, much like liberal counties and cities have declared themselves sanctuaries for illegal aliens.
Culpepper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins even vowed to deputize thousands of citizens in order to protect their right to guns without violating his oath of office by refusing to enforce laws, the Culpepper Star-Exponent reported.
“The right to bear arms—some believe that the Second Amendment gives us that right, when in fact it’s a God-given right,” Sheriff Jenkins said told his the Culpepper County Board of Supervisors the night the sanctuary resolution was passed. “If you don’t believe in God, it’s a law of nature that every creature can defend their lives from threats.”
“If the legislature decides to restrict certain weapons I feel harms our community, I will swear in thousands of auxiliary deputies in Culpeper,” he said. “There’s no limit to the number of people I can swear in.”
“Personally, I don’t think some of the bills that are proposed will pass, I don’t think we’re that far left in Virginia,” the sheriff added, according to the Culpepper Star-Exponent.
He said thousands of residents in his county already had concealed-carry permits, including for guns with high-capacity magazines – something the Democrats believe should be outlawed.
Sheriff Jenkins quoted Founding Father Richard Henry Lee of Virginia to make his point.
“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves and include all men capable of bearing arms,” he quoted.
The sheriff called efforts to restrict magazine size ridiculous and “insane,” and criticized lawmakers who wanted to punish everyone for the misdeeds of a few, the Culpepper Star-Exponent reported.
“You can create just as much harm and death in a school with an environment of an active shooter with a shotgun in five or 10 minutes as you could with most other weapons,” Sheriff Jenkins told the assembled group.