Rockingham County will not join other Virginia cities and counties in becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary under a proposed resolution released Tuesday.
The county released a draft document stating the board would declare its intent to oppose unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms through any and all legal means, but the word “sanctuary” was left out.
The board will hold a public hearing on the resolution today. Supervisors scheduled the hearing after being asked by the Rockingham County Republican Party to declare Rockingham a Second Amendment sanctuary.
County Attorney Thomas Miller said Tuesday that while the resolution shares some of the same elements as those approved by other counties that have become Second Amendment sanctuaries, Rockingham will not become a sanctuary if the resolution is approved.
The resolution states that the board “expresses its continuing intent to uphold, support and defend all rights protected and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Constitution of the United States,” and the board “expresses its intent to uphold the Virginia Constitution Article 1, Section 13 and U.S. Constitution Second Amendment rights of all citizens of Rockingham County, and its commitment that public funds not be used to unconstitutionally restrict such rights.”
As of Tuesday, nearly 50 counties and cities in Virginia declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, with more than 40 counties and cities preparing to hold hearings or votes.
Shenandoah County was the most recent locality in the area to be designated a Second Amendment sanctuary. Supervisors voted 6-0 during a special meeting Monday after facing pressure from attendees to pass the resolution.
Since Democrats won majorities in the House of Delegates and Senate in last month’s election, several firearms-related bills have been proposed, raising concerns among Second Amendment advocates.
Rockingham County’s resolution states the board’s intent to “use such legal means at its disposal to protect the right of citizens to keep and bear arms, including through legal action and the right to petition for redress of grievances.”
Today’s public hearing will be at the Spotswood High School gymnasium, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The public hearing is slated to start around 7:15 p.m.