Buchanan Co. supervisors pass emergency ordinance for Second Amendment Sanctuary status


Other counties, city of Norton considering resolutions

BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – The Buchanan County Board of Supervisors took the first steps Monday night to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

According to the County Administrator’s office, the board passed an emergency ordinance to make the county such a sanctuary.

Officials told News Channel 11 that a vote on a regular ordinance to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary is scheduled for the January 6 Board of Supervisors meeting. It will be held at 6 p.m. at Grundy High School.

Counties pass resolutions ahead of General Assembly session

Following a deadly shooting in Virginia Beach, Gov. Ralph Northam called a special session for lawmakers to consider a package of proposals. The General Assembly adjourned without taking action but that’s likely to change in 2020.

That’s because Democrats hold majorities in both the House and the Senate for the first time more than two decades.

Lee and Washington Counties were the first in Southwest Virginia to pass resolutions to become Second Amendment Sanctuaries.

Washington County Sheriff-elect Blake Andis spoke to News Channel 11’s Jackie Defusco about red flag laws, which allow guns to be temporarily confiscated from individuals deemed to pose an immediate and present danger to themselves or others.

He told Jackie that if a red flag law passes, the WCSO will not enforce it.

“I think it’s a clear violation of the Second Amendment, requiring us to go out, basically do an illegal seizure and search of their property based on their non-criminal activity,” Andis said.

Related Story: Washington County, Va. to vote on Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution

Resolutions, ordinances and emergency ordinances

The Lee, Washington, Russell and Dickenson Counties all passed resolutions to become Second Amendment Sanctuaries. Resolutions are not legally binding but show a county’s commitment to not use public funds to “restrict Second Amendment rights.”

Related Story: Russell County leaders unanimously approve Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution

An ordinance is defined as a law set forth by a governmental authority, particularly in regards to a local governments.

According to the Code of Virginia, ordinances can only be passed after the proposed ordinance “has been published once a week for two successive weeks prior to its passage in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county.”

The code also states that county governments can adopt an emergency ordinance without any prior notice. However, they cannot be “enforced for more than sixty days unless readopted…”

Any new gun control measures enacted by the General Assembly could impact these resolutions and ordinances. According to the Code of Virginia, “any ordinance, resolution… {etc.} shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the Commonwealth.”

More local governments to vote

The votes to establish Second Amendment Sanctuaries aren’t over. On December 3, leaders in Tazewell County and the City of Norton are scheduled to vote on resolutions. Scott County will vote on December 4.

The following week, the Smyth County Board of Supervisors will vote on December 10. Supervisors in Wise County will make a decision on December 12.

News Channel 11 will keep you updated on air and online at WJHL.com with more information about these votes.

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