A U.S. congressman suggested that the Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam could deploy the National Guard to enforce gun laws in counties that have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
“Ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law,” Rep. Donald McEachin said, according to The Washington Examiner.
“That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has,” McEachin added.
Gov. Northam himself said on Wednesday that Virginia localities who refuse to enforce gun laws will face “consequences,” but did not allude to what those consequences could entail.
“If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it,” Northam said, as WTKR reported.
“They can continue to have their meetings. They can continue to make sanctuary counties, but we’re going to do what Virginians have asked us to do,” he said, referring to the strict gun control platform credited for Democrats’ sweeping election wins in the state.
At least 75 counties in Virginia have declared themselves a “Second Amendment sanctuary” in preparation to refuse enforcement of strict gun laws currently being considered in the Virginia state legislature.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights organization founded in 1994, claims that 84 localities have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” since Nov. 6.
“We’re not going to take people’s guns away,” Northam insisted on Wednesday, dismissing the sanctuary measures. He also claimed
One such gun measure proposed Northam would be to ban sales of semi-automatic rifles, and only allow gunowners to keep their current AR-15s and similar rifles if they register them – or else they must surrender the rifles.
Rep. McEachin had also suggested halting state funding to counties that refuse to comply with any state-level gun control laws.
“They certainly risk funding, because if the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money. The counties’ attorneys offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down,” he said.
Rep. Gerry Connolly called on law enforcement officials to resign if they refuse to enforce the state’s gun laws.
“I would hope they either resign in good conscience, because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they’re prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath,” Connolly told The Washington Examiner.