Northampton County passes Second Amendment Resolution, falls short of declaring Sanctuary status

December 11, 2019
Northampton County Second Amendment Sanctuary

Pictured: Roger Buyrn addresses the Northampton County Board of Supervisors during their discussion on passing a Second Amendment Resolution in the County in front of an overflow crowd.

By Ted Shockley

The Northampton County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution of support for gun rights promised in the state and U.S. constitutions.

The resolution, which “urges the Governor and members of the General Assembly to take no action which would violate the freedoms in both constitutions,” is similar to others adopted across Virginia that honor and defend gun rights.

More than 120 people attended the meeting, the biggest turnout for a Northampton County meeting in memory. Most were there to advocate for 2nd Amendment rights. 

Northampton’s resolution stopped short of declaring the county a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary,” which other municipalities statewide have adopted in the wake of the Nov. 5 election, when Democrats gained control of both houses of the General Assembly.

Gov. Ralph Northam, also a Democrat, has said his party would pursue gun-control measures. 

Efforts to push back have included the “sanctuaries,” where laws eroding gun rights wouldn’t be enforced. The Exmore Town Council on Dec. 1 adopted a resolution making the municipality a sanctuary, saying it wouldn’t use public money to enforce new gun-control laws.

Northampton County Board Chairman Spencer Murray, however, predicted any statewide gun-control measures will be tested in court to see if they violate the 2nd Amendment. 

Chris Willis of Cape Charles was among the speakers who wanted the county to be a sanctuary. 

“If we’re going to make a symbolic gesture, let’s make a grand symbolic gesture,” he said.

The point, he said, was to ensure “all of us feel more at home in our own county.”

Sheriff David Doughty spoke in favor of the supervisors’ resolution, saying, “I am in total support of what the board is doing here tonight.”

But he said the sheriff’s office couldn’t “pick and choose” which laws to enforce.

Murray said he’d received assurance from Delegate Robert Bloxom and State Sen. Lynwood Lewis that they wouldn’t support gun control legislation.

He encouraged those in attendance to keep track of efforts to erode gun rights.

“I ask that all of you stay totally involved,” he said. 

“This is a highly emotionally charged issue,” he said. “We’re all gun owners. We all understand why it’s emotionally charged.”


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