Second Amendment Sanctuaries: Flames of Freedom

Looking back in history about how America won its freedom from a tyrannical government in the past, we can see many events leading up to that revolutionary war. There were a lot of events, but one of them tipped the scale so far to the other side that it was irreversible, with the only outcome being bloodshed.

That one scale-tipping event was the attempted confiscation of colonist's guns and gun powder. Our forefathers were very smart, and knew one thing very well: If we didn't have the means to protect ourselves we'd get steamrolled by tyrants. Hence, the need for the Second Amendment.

My friends, while I hope there is a peaceful outcome that ends up with the gun grabbers giving up their decision to make more illegal gun laws, I believe we're at this same fork in the road. Looking back upon recent history we can see many, similar things taking place as they have in the past.

These are things that are sadly leading up to conflict once again.

While gun grabbers have met only little resistance in states like California and New York, Virginia is very demographically different than any state where gun control has been passed to date. Its citizens don't seem to be taking this lightly, or the way they were hoping.

Also, what's going on in Virginia could be the start of something much, much bigger. Let's take a quick look at some the events taking place in VA, before looking elsewhere:

  • Virginia flips completely to the left, promising strict gun control laws
  • Those who are pro-gun respond with 2A sanctuaries. By last count 93 counties and cities have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries who won't enforce gun laws. 75 of those are counties
  • Lawmakers, in response to the 2A sanctuary counties, threatened police and duly elected officials with consequences like the withholding of money and even the use of the National Guard to enforce their unconstitutional laws
  • In response to these threats, at least one county (Tazewell) has made a county militia resolution promising to not back down
  • There is currently at least one threat for an elected official recall, maybe more

The numbers matter. There are 95 counties in the state, and currently 75 of them have declared themselves to be a 2A sanctuary. That's a LOT of pissed off people.

And, while Governor Northam decried these efforts by saying the people clearly want more gun control because of the way the state voted, I'd urge him to consider the fact that 75 out of 95 counties disagree with him.

Meanwhile, outside of Virginia, the flame of freedom spreads. Second Amendment Sanctuary status has been adopted in the strangest of places, to even include a city in one of the worst gun control states in the union, New Jersey.

Oddly enough, I have family who live in West Milford, the newly claimed Second Amendment Sanctuary, and am happy to hear that they passed this resolution.

In addition to praise, these areas are also hearing a lot of criticism for the support of the gun-owning community that surrounds them. Here is a quote pulled from

“A town council cannot nullify or ignore state public safety laws,” Josh Scharff, attorney for Brady — formerly the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence — said via an email from the organization’s spokesperson.

“New Jersey citizens have elected their state legislators and their governor who have passed laws that are proven to keep New Jersey citizens safe and to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. It is dangerous for a local government to falsely imply that their townships are above the law,” Scharff stated.

It remains interesting, at least to me, how ” a town council cannot nullify …” state laws, but said state can nullify the law of the land, known as the Constitution's Second Amendment.

Every few days a new sanctuary is named, and this is a movement that's happening around the country. In fact, there will be vote tonight in Unicoi County, Tennessee concerning this very thing.

At this point, only time will tell what happens. To the people in these sanctuaries, there really is only one course of action. Leave our guns alone, or be ready. They're sending a loud message that they will not comply as the rest of the country wait, and watch.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. Allan McKenney on December 16, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Hi, Josh.Thanks for posting what is going on in the “Old Dominion”. I am hoping that we will not be forced to share the same ideals in Idaho. I support the 2nd Amendment totally
    and I also have a State issued CCW license.

  2. Willie B on December 16, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    One thing about the VA Constitution is counties are allowed to commission and activate their own militias and that includes how they are to be armed. Many counties are now doing exactly that and stating, semi-auto rifles and shotguns are the preferred weapon for their county militias.

  3. Roy Covington on December 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    My home state (New Mexico) is also involved with the same quandary. The governor, Michelle Lujan-Grisham, has put into place laws that require increased registration requirements. A majority of the County Sheriff’s Departments have openly stated that they WILL NOT enforce these overstepping laws. One, of many, requires that if you pass down a firearm that has been in the family for generations that it has to be registered in the name of the person receiving it.
    The most disgusting issue with this law is the expense, combined with the extensive time involved. In New Mexico one must travel to Albuquerque (possibly 300 miles) several times to register a firearm in this manner.
    There’s no logic to these anti 2A laws other than a plan by the government to confiscate firearms in the future, combined with increasing the cost of gun ownership.
    The most disgusting considerations are the facts that laws already on the books aren’t being enforced and criminals/murderers are being released, most of the time, without even having a bond. If you watch the news in Albuquerque you will see DAILY violent crimes being committed by felons recently released by judges after killing/robbing/assaulting citizens with firearms. In addition, violent criminals that have been convicted and sentenced are having their incarceration shortened by judges that are related to the criminals.

  4. Marcus on December 16, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Do you think there will be a moment when brick and mortar stores will stop bothering to sell munitions and just tell everyone to grab what they need?

  5. Craig Schmidt on December 17, 2019 at 1:17 am

    It is ironic that they so quickly forget about illegal immigrants being here illegally and making sanctuary cities for them! We in NV stand with the good people of VA and support them in their fight. I will not be satisfied with our government until
    All gun control laws are repealed! The 2A allows for no exceptions and no restrictions!

  6. Luke on December 17, 2019 at 5:54 am

    If the colors were switched, it’d be a perfect election map of VA. The state is dominated heavily by liberal cities. Seriously, Tennessee or Kentucky should probably just go ahead and claim SWVA. Recalling elections would help, but I wonder how much abuse it will take for these counties to secede the state?

  7. Randy Brown on December 17, 2019 at 7:11 am

    The people of Virginia are now facing tyranny, courtesy of the latest governor. How many of them voted in the last election? In my county in Texas only 12% of the registered voters turned out. How pathetic when we are happy to travel hundreds of miles to watch a football game but can’t be bothered to drive to the nearest polls to vote. People must become more involved on the front end or face an ugly aftermath no one will want. It’s coming. Are you awake yet?

  8. Todd Martin on December 17, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Lynchburg, Virginia did not reject being a Second Amendment sanctuary. They tabled the motion until next year.

    • Getty Lee on December 17, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      If you choose not to decide you still have made a choise.

      • Jeff on December 18, 2019 at 2:11 pm

        Exactly right !!!!

  9. Dwayne on December 17, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Agreed! The Constitution says EVERYONE has gun “RIGHTS ” any type of law that prevents ANYONE from owning a gun is a direct violation of the constitution! These gun laws start small and get more and more strict until very few even have a gun. THEN THE GOVERNMENT WILL DICTATE EVERYTHING! THE ULTIMATE PLAN IS TO FORCE FEED AMERICANS SOCIALISM, THEN ROLL OUT THE ONE WORLD ORDER

  10. Douglas Lewis on December 17, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Is there any scuttlebutt about Kentucky now that for some reason a Democratic was voted in as governor. I served in the USMC am a 2nd amendment supporter to the end. Thank you VA for standing up for our rights and setting a example for the rest of the states

  11. Jorge on December 17, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Another ill conceive democRat double standard. When it comes to illegal immigration it’s okay to usurp federal laws, but when it comes to law abiding citizens/gun ownership they know what is best for us and they will decide how we can or cannot exercise our Constitutional Rights! Arrogance at it’s best!!! Virginia is a different demographic compared to NY, NJ, CA, etc… In Virginia our long standing gun culture will never be a political carrot for politicians to use against us…leave our guns and our 2A Rights alone!!! It didn’t work and ended well when Gov. McAuliffe and again idiot AG Herring tried to cancel our CCW reciprocity with other states in 2015. AG Herring should have learned his lesson along with anti-gun Bloomberg and company. Take your dirty money and go away, leave Virginia alone!!! We love our gun culture!!!

  12. Gilbert C SAWYER on December 17, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    1775 – 2019 , Tyranny is defined today.
    As a Taxation with out proper representation.
    Through out history gun confiscation has been followed by a Genocide. The order of purpose is to remove all defense for a death squad. Oh my to control the population.. How??
    Planned Parenthood, Hospice
    Neutralization Limited LIBERTY is without LIBERTY..Now they want to take OUR GUNS, sound like something that has been a ‘FAILURE’ in the past. Come on ‘YOU KNOW’ —-a state of inability to do or perform a normal function adequately. Just a little thought! In 1775 the British Empire, the most successful the world had seen, came to America to take the GUNS of the colonist.—- I give you, YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA. Far to many of ‘We The People’ have lost the grasp of American political life as well the sacred rights and responsibilities of human beings. We seem to be at a stalemate on how to secure the ‘Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity’. I for one have seen what has been laid on the alter of ‘FREEDOM’. It this point I am not sure an ‘APOLOGY’ will even work. ‘In the clearing stands a boxer, And a fighter by his trade And he carries the reminder Of ev’ry glove that laid him down And cut him till he cried out In his anger and his shame, “I am leaving, I am leaving.” But the fighter still remains. My generation like the Americans of the 1775 era with our Bravery and Courage are going to have to vigorously take back our Congress to get the decent Honor and Respect that ‘We The People’ are entitle as Citizens of the United States of America, by GOD our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—-My biggest fear: Peace and Harmony, Why do “WE THE PEOPLE” need a ‘organization’ when we have The CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. On December 15, 1791 Virginia ratifies ten proposed constitutional amendments, adding the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. If this central document of American Life were to be changed by Virginia; Virginia would NO LONGER BE FREE. Good Luck with this. In Maryland a sixty-one year old man was KILLED over ‘RED FLAG LAW’ by the POLICE at his HOME. I would GUESS his family is ‘THINKING’ this Constitution is NOT WORKING so well. Someone wake up those folk at the Supreme Court of the United States
    1 First Street, NE
    Washington, DC 20543 Time for them to go to WORK. Oh! Just so you don’t have to LOOK—- AMENDMENT II —- A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.—-AMENDMENT IV —- The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.—

    • Loretta Carpenter on January 2, 2020 at 8:49 pm

      That was beautiful.. Simon and Garfunkel would be pleased, too.. Thank you from a Tennessee Patriot Grandma.. I am about to be armed with a small weapon as is one daughter.. We know Tennessee will need to be armed, for sure. This war is coming. Good luck

  13. David Lang on December 17, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Loudoun County did not reject 2nd Amendment Sanctuary status, they refused to even discuss it!

  14. Shannon on December 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    I live in Greene County Virginia, and although it’s white on the map, you can color us blue now. We voted yes and we’ll stand with our fellow Patriots.

    • Joshua Gillem on December 18, 2019 at 5:24 am

      Glad to hear! It’s not our map but I’ll see if I can find an updated one.

  15. John S. on December 17, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    The national guard will not be going door to door to confiscate guns per the governor’s orders. That’s an unconstitutional and unlawful order. We as military members are to support and defend the constitution of the United States. Not the orders of a governor. If the governor wants to confiscate guns then make his ass go door to door to confiscate them. Watch his ass get shot too. Anyone following his unlawful orders to shut off electricity, water, cellphones, or use a cellphone jammer which prevents cellphones from being used would be an idiot.

  16. N. Buford on December 18, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    As the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said in the movie, Tora! Tora! Tora!

    “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

    The extreme left needs to consider, is their intent worth the risk of what may be forthcoming?

  17. Albert S. on December 19, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I am with the2A supporters in VA and against all who are not. It is to bad that this country has come to what is about to happen. Buy to keep our freedoms it is inevitable. God bless us all

  18. Tom Bennett on December 22, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    The US Supreme Court has reaffirmed within recent memory that Americans have the right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms and to use them for self-defense. That also is a direct affirmation of the ideal expressed in the Declaration of each person’s inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, there isn’t a president, governor, county executive, mayor, town council, or police department anywhere in the nation who has the right to ignore or modify or nullify the Second Amendment. The only legal response to the Second Amendment is to enjoy it or to work the procedure legally to REPEAL it, a process the Founders and Framers deliberately intended to be thoughtful and difficult. All other words and efforts should be considered worthless and without effect.

    • William Wilson on January 9, 2020 at 9:13 pm

      It is not up to any part of government to “affirm” our rights… not even the Supreme Court.. the Court’s only duty in relation to our rights is to strike down any law that violates them..

  19. tomlussier on December 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    I reside in one of the few counties, Loudoun, that did not vote to support my constitutional rights. The eastern part is highly liberal and congested while the west, where I live, is rural, conservative and pro-2nd all the way. The sound of gunfire is so common here it’s unusual when you can’t hear any! This whole thing is really pissing people off!!

  20. William Wilson on January 9, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    just in the past 85 years Congress and the state governments have violated our right to keep and bear arms.. starting with The National Firearms Act of 1934. Then by the Federal Firearms Act of 1938.. and ever since they just keep rolling them out.. and we sit on our asses saying they won’t get mine.. but they already have.. how many of you would put your rifles in a rack and drive anywhere in this country.. very damn few if any…they have been chipping away at our rights and we have not done a thing to stop them… we do not need sanctuary places to carry weapons.. we need to enforce the Constitution,
    18 U.S.C. § 241 and 18 U.S.C. § 242.. stop pandering to the people bent on selling us out…
    And by the way.. NONE of our rights are granted by the Constitution… they are inherent and only supposed to be PROTECTED by the Constitution.. and so far especially with the right to keep and bear arms it has done a very poor job.

  21. D Haas on January 10, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    Didn’t this 2nd Amendment Sanctuary thing start several years ago in Illinois ?

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