The La Paz County Board of Supervisors has declared the county to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary.
At their meeting Feb. 3, the board unanimously adopted Resolution No. 2020-2, which declares the county will not assist in enforcement of any federal laws determined to violate right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
La Paz County joins a growing nationwide movement from local governments to declare their jurisdictions Second Amendment Sanctuaries. More than 400 municipalities in 20 states have done so. In Virginia, more than 120 counties and municipalities have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries following new gun control legislation from the Democrat-controlled state government.
Mohave County declared itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary Nov. 4. Bullhead City became one on Jan. 21. Yavapai County is set to vote on becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary Feb. 5. A statewide Second Amendment Sanctuary bill, HB 2093, has been introduced in the Arizona Legislature by State District 5 Rep. Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City.
At the Feb. 3 meeting, the La Paz County Supervisors heard from Penny Pew from U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar’s office. She read a letter from Gosar stating the adoption of Second Amendment Sanctuaries is an example of the Constitutional process at work. He further stated that violence is the result of societal breakdown and should not be blamed on legal gun owners.
Ernie Calma of Mohave County Second Amendment also spoke to the supervisors. He thanked the supervisors for considering a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution, and said this was needed in the wake of rhetoric and gun control proposals from the Democrats running for President.
Calma said La Paz County can expect to be called names following the adoption of this resolution. He noted gun rights advocates peacefully protested at Virginia’s state capitol following that state’s adoption of restrictive gun laws. He said these demonstrators were called everything from white supremacists to terrorists.
While the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement has gained momentum since 2018, some have questioned its effectiveness. In an editorial dated Jan. 9, 2020, Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic said Biasiucci’s bill would effectively mean Arizona was telling Washington they wouldn’t enforce some Federal laws. She also questioned who would decide if a law was unconstitutional.
In a Feb. 3 story on the website, thetrace.org, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring offered the opinion that these resolutions have no legal force. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said sheriffs who refuse to enforce new gun laws should resign.
Thetrace.org also had the opinion of Mary B. McCord, a former acting assistant attorney general for national security. Writing in the Washington Post, she said the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions have no legal basis, and that only a court can overturn a state or federal law.
“State constitutions, statutes and common law generally affirm the ‘supremacy’ of federal and state law, meaning that local jurisdictions are preempted from enacting conflicting ordinances and resolutions,” thetrace.org quotes McCord.