Second Amendment Sanctuaries and the Constitutional Rule of Law

Michelle Lujan Grisham at a rally. (AFGE)

New Mexico/Colorado – -( Recently some very pro-Second Amendment localities have begun to take a page from opponents of the enforcement of immigration laws. That page is to declare their counties to be “Second Amendment sanctuary” jurisdictions. It is very ironic that the very anti-Second Amendment politicians, many of whom also support the “sanctuary city” concept, are now quite irritated about this new development.

Look, Second Amendment supporters want to preserve the rule of law. It’s one reason why many are frustrated when the laws on the books governing the misuse of firearms in crimes are not used. A few years back, Chris Brown, who had been convicted of a felony for seriously injuring his then-girlfriend Rhianna in a beating, was caught with guns and drugs. It would have been easy to lock away Mr. Brown for up to four decades. But those provisions were not used.

And yet despite the non-enforcement of laws, when bad stuff happens, these anti-Second Amendment politicians come out and demand that the law-abiding citizens surrender more of their Second Amendment rights. This leads to a lot of frustration on the part of Second Amendment supporters.

What is happening, though, in many of the very red areas of states that find themselves dominated by major cities, is the declaration of Second Amendment sanctuaries. New Mexico is just such a state – with many counties that have pro-Second Amendment officials making those sanctuary declarations.

In addition, sheriffs in that state are declaring they will not enforce laws that violate the Second Amendment. This has included, in New Mexico, the sheriff of the most populous county (and 28 of his colleagues). Colorado is also seeing a number of “Second Amendment sanctuaries” emerge, with nine such counties making that declaration as of this writing.

One thing we should note is that these are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is good to see officials following their oaths to defend the Constitution. Ultimately, that is where their primary loyalty must lie – not to any party, or to what is passed by the legislature. As John Marshall said in his Marbury v. Madison opinion, “the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature.”

There is a problem, though, but it is not with the intentions of those setting up the sanctuaries. The problem is how this is coming across. Already, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is calling the move a “childish pity party” by “rogue sheriffs” (never mind that all but four in the state are opposing her agenda) as she vows to pursue further gun control measures. Now, you and I both know that the objections are anything but “propaganda” and “bad faith,” but she has a lot of the media on her side.

In one sense, the big problem for Second Amendment supporters is to decide when to take the step of defying legislative laws that are in clear contradiction to the Second Amendment is warranted. In many states that have passed arbitrary bans on semi-automatic firearms, but allowed registration, Second Amendment supporters have refused to register those guns, a calculated act of civil disobedience to legislative law. But that is not enough.

This is where good strategy and tactics, mindfulness of how we come across to our fellow Americans, and having good contacts with local media will matter. For instance, do you think Governor Grisham will be so eager to prosecute a person who loans a woman fleeing an abusive partner a handgun for personal protection?

Defying anti-Second Amendment laws is one of the more desperate options out there. It is easy to make the case to Second Amendment supporters about doing so with regards to “universal” background checks as they are a form of backdoor registration, but we must recognize that there is a much larger audience out there we must reach. We must convince our fellow citizens who are either not strongly on either side, or even leaning towards some measures to support, if not outright elimination of those unjust laws, then at least to start making them less onerous.

Harold Hu, chison

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post,, and other national websites.

  • 48 thoughts on “Second Amendment Sanctuaries and the Constitutional Rule of Law

    1. A stop needs to be put to every speech against the Constitution. This talk is undermining everything America stands for.

    2. The sheriffs of sanctuary counties are not having a pity party. They are deadly serious and the governor better take notice. If the state tries to enforce the unconstitutional diktats with deadly force some of these sheriffs will meet force with force, I am sure that is a can of worms that the governor has not stopped to consider.

    3. For those who have not yet realized it, we are already several years into a civil war between those who desire the shepherding of the collective and those who desire liberty. Like water and oil these two concepts can not mix and will separate. So will it be with the once united states of America. The sooner everyone realizes this the more peaceful the divorce can be.

    4. We don’t have to listen to a tyranny Government. All local Governments better not piss off the people!!! For we will come and remove the shit heads!!!!

      1. I like the idea of dragging them out of bed at 3am, and out into the street where a military tribunal is set up and waiting for them. The charges of sedition and treason would be leveled at them, and if found guilty, then justice would be served right there on their front lawn. This should have been done a long time ago.

    5. i live in rural nm, the last time the law was called for attempted theft 3 dogs combined 300 lbs were following behind them they left after 2 warning shots were fired not directly at them the law took 2 hours to get here by then someone is running or dead, us or them the deputy only asked if shots were fired AT intruders the fastest they have responded is 30 minutes for this area that is normal they have a lot of ground to cover so it is understandable. my current medical issues (4th stage kidney failure) prevent me from exiting the situation with any hast so 30 minutes or 2 hours with a confrontation the result is the same the deciding factor is exercising 2nd amendment right there is a reason that it is the second amendment not the 10th the our founders knew that the freedom to own a gun and express your opinion popular or not are the first 2 amendments for a good reason

    6. we’re not worried about no 40,000 dead and another 100,000 shot in 2017 in America. We only have 320 million guns in America, the highest per capita rate in the world. The second highest per cpaita gun ownership rate is……..YEMEN.
      And jeepers, their killed and wounded from gun violence rate is second only GO USA. We don’t need no common sense gun safety laws and we like our 2008 rewrite of the 2nd Amendment.

      1. your numbers are all wrong… and your conclusions as well. Must be a paid troll. slither on back down into Mommie’s basement.

      2. You are way off base the truth is the forms of Gun Control that is being pushed today only effect the Law abiding Citizens of American ( do you not understand what a law abiding citizen is so how is taking our 2nd Amendment right way going to reduce gun violence???????????????????????.

      3. To solve the problem the VPC cites at the site you referenced, we just need to eliminate the “Concealed Carry” people that are Democrat and/or illegal. There, fixed it for ya, Bucky!

      4. Well you certainly got your numbers wrong; math must not be your “cup-of-tea”.
        “How a Botched Study Fooled the World About the U.S. Share of Mass Public Shootings: U.S. Rate is Lower than Global Average”

        “State Level Firearm Concealed-Carry Legislation and Rates of Homicide and Other Violent Crime”

        “Red Flag’ Laws are False Flags”

        Next time back up your claims with FACTS instead of wishful thinking.

      5. The reason sheriff are elected is so they’re loyal to the people not those writing the laws. An unconstitutional law isn’t a law at all at least that’s how the supreme Court has ruled

      6. @och will, there was no “re-write” of the 2nd Amendment In 2008, which you darned well know. The Heller decision only supported *exactly* what the 2nd Amendment already said — that the right to self-defense (against a tyrannical gov’t or a criminal aggressor) goes back hundreds of years or more and is a *human* right, NOT one granted by gov’t. The 2nd Amendment says one and only one thing: that our gov’t canNOT take away that right (because it never was the gov’ts to grant or deny in the first place).

    7. I very much so approve of the sanctuary county approach. It appears as though the left has forgotten that this country is a republic and seems to think you can vote away rights (Democracy = mob rule). I believe this sort of policy would serve as a decent reminder.
      They can claim “you don’t respect the rule of law” or whatever but once again they already let that ship sail a long time ago. The only thing conservatives are good at doing these days is hamstringing themselves with decorum and adherence to principles while the left plays by different rules. The game is rigged and we are getting cheated out of our rights.

      1. They can claim “you don’t respect the rule of law”

        THEY don’t respect the rule of law. The SUpreme Law of the Land declardes that THE PEOPLE have the right to arms, and that that right SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

        That same document also assignes the PRESIDENT the responsibilty to “repel foreign invasions”, establishes HIM as the Commander in CHief of all military forces,

        It further assigns the CONGRESS the task of developing a “uniform rule of naturalisation” to provide a predictable pathway to citizenship for those lawfully here, And that same COngress assigned, in 1965, the task of managing the first steop toward citizenship to the President.. that first step being who can/cannot enter our sovereign territory and under what terms.

        Laws declare that those jumping the border are breaking the law. These clowns set up illegal alien invader sanctuary cities, contrary to federal law, then tell US we “dont respect the rule of law”?

        Look in the mirror, Paco. THERE is the lawbreaker. Our “gun sanctuary zones” are consistent with the Constitution. Your gun control zones are directly contary to that law. They are INFrINGEMENTS< and thus illegal.

        ALL who swore an oath to uphold, defend, and faithfully apply the COnstitioin and laws enacted persuant thereto, need to be charged with felony perjury for swearing that oath then failing to keep it.
        Felony bust means no guns, no public office. WHEN will we begin vetting dandidats on THAT basis?

    8. We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the CONCENT of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it….These are some words from our declaration of independence. I would ask that you read the rest of them so you know why and how the U.S.A. came into being for yourselves. If one trades freedom for security, one deserves nor has either.

      When a government displays tyranny and treason to it’s people it is in the right of the governed to get rid of it. A treasonous law is NOT one that should be enforced or even enacted. Both the enacting and enforcement of treasonous laws are, in fact, treason. Common sense, the second amendment and the WORD of GOD are all, in and of themselves, good reasoning to keep and bear arms though not necessarily in that order. Anyone who does not believe this has the right to do so but they DON’T have the right to disarm or hinder the arming of society in any way, shape or form. If that act is attempted it is, by definition, treason.

      Should you choose to surrender your firearms, ammo, high capacity magazines and other gear, you will quickly find yourself a subject instead of a citizen, a slave instead of free, impoverished with no hope for anything better for yourself or your children. A recent case in point is Venezuela. Ten years ago they elected a socialist president. Among the first things he did was disarm the public. Now the people starve. They have no hope from within their borders of anything better.

      Maybe it is a good idea to have 2A sanctuary cities. You can bet the crime rate will fall when everyone KNOWS that everyone else is armed. It would make for a more polite society. A stark difference to the effects of insane gun (people) control like in Chi town. The murder rate there is worse that the rate of casualties in “rak and Afghanistan over the last two decades–look it up and see for yourself. Even if one must be civilly disobedient, it is worth it to keep your family safe from harm. Arm up, carry on.

    9. so, this will be the line drawn. counties for illegals, criminals, sex offenders and the like,verses honest, god fearing folks who want to protect themselves. makes me wonder how history will be written on this war. should be on par with the American cattle verses sheep grazing wars.

    10. Just look at N.Y.S. All of upstate NY. is red yet the state went BLUE . Big city voting blocks control which way the state goes. Big city voting blocks have been lied to for so long ,most don’t even know who they are voting for.

      1. I was paying attention to the votes coming in during the Nov 2018 election. They called the election for Cuomo after only a few precincts in NYC were counted.
        This is the sad reality of these states (Washington, NYS, NM, hell even Massachusetts to some degree). They are ruled by the tyranny of large cities.
        And NY is the worst. I live upstate. Every other pickup truck you see on the highway has an NRA bumpersticker or some other related pro-gun bumpersticker. The values and ideals of NYC are not our ideals up here. We have a strong hunting and shooting community up here, yet the ideals of NYC are imposed on us. It will boil over eventually.

      2. Adopt a “one county = one electoral vote” type of system. Then, just maybe, our Constitution can “breathe” again – like they all like to CLAIM it does.

    11. The Unchecked, Unchallenged growth of government is what they want. A Regime of unlimited power is what they are after. They want it to where those hard fought rights become meaningless. The Constitution as it is written, means nothing to those that seek to destroy America…..

      1. Close, butno cigar! It’s not the Constitutional Rule of Law. It’s the Rule of Constitutional Law. Big difference. Only the Rule of Constitutional Law has a “we the people” component. No other combination of the words does. Attention to detail, folks! Attention to detail!

    12. The down side is, sheriff’s races will now be highly contested by the Democrats. Their goal will be to control
      all forms of law enforcement, thus controlling who gets arrested and for what.

      1. @BobK, The goal of the democrat national socialists is total control anyway. County prosecutor is also a key post because it is the prosecutors, not the sheriff, that determines what charges to bring. So defeat the party hacks at the primaries and county caucuses. Seek out the “not corrupted yet” candidate and support them with the most powerful political tool that there is … fun.

    13. I wish this upon nobody, but a civil war is the only way to rid this country of traitors. Let’s face it, there will NEVER be a full gun ban in this country without a lot of blood shed, and I think you know which ones will win the fight. Amen to the sheriffs and the pro second amendment supporters. without them, this country will fall. All of our brothers and sisters that are in the armed forces including law enforcement that have fought for this country will be in vain if we don’t stand our ground.

      1. @Yanni, Half the people in this country are traitors that hate the Constitution, free markets, Christianity, and us. That is one hundred and sixty-five million people. How will you rid this country of one hundred and sixty-five million people?

        1. You have your facts wrong….165 million HATE THE CONSTITUTION??????….THAT’S ONLY IN YOUR MIND…..In reality probably 10 million hate the constitution…and you must be one of them…Yanni is right….a civil war is coming…and he is right,,guess who will win…beleivers in the Constitution and gun owners…..but the big winners will be the criminals and America’s new gun black market..

          1. @ Craig
            How do you know how many are against the Constitution? I have never seen a poll or a count on it. I would say you are just guessing and your guessing could be wrong as well as springing into a civil war would be wrong. If we fire the first shot that would put us at a big disadvantage because the gun grabbers could use the military against us because we caused or incited a civil disturbance. We need to keep our powder dry and wait for the progressives to jump first. You need to tone down your rhetoric and harsh arguments against fellow supporters.

    14. These politicians that get elected to high offices in their states are supported by huge voting blocs within urban areas. City folks (nearly all democrat) don’t truly represent the citizens of the state. It’s called democratic tyranny because of the voter counts. If rural voters can get out to vote and democrat ballot box stuffing and other voter fraud can be reduced or at least limited, conservatives may get control back.

    15. The Constitution sets forth our rights and liberties as citizens of this country. Multitudes of Patriots have given their lives in order to protect these rights and liberties. The Second Amendment was placed to give us a way to preserve those rights against tyranny.

      The elected officials that are breaking their oath of office in order to remove any of our Constitutional rights need to be removed from office, immediately.

    16. Do you wonder if these dogmatic leaders, actually believe their own legal threats/rhetoric?
      That they’re standing against tyranny, in order to protect their constituents, the victims of criminal activities……

      They ought to be looking in the mirror, so they can see more clearly, that they are all making victims out of law abiding people!

    17. “For instance, do you think Governor Grisham will be so eager to prosecute a person who loans a woman fleeing an abusive partner a handgun for personal protection?”

      Yes. In a New York minute.

      As a New Mexico resident, I have written my local state representatives many times about these gun control bills. I’ve written the governor. I have never, not once, received a reply. They. No. Longer. Care. what their electorates want.

      And yes, I approve of the sanctuary county approach. It is indeed a double edged sword, but we’re not the ones who forged it, nor who unsheathed it. It’s the next thing to try to see if we can get them to listen, instead of demanding to dictate. Hopefully they will listen, because it will only get uglier and more divisive from here.

    18. I can’t understand why there is even a question about the second amendment. Pelosi and her ilk swore to uphold the constitution in their oath of office. Since they lied, wouldn’t that make their swearing in null and void? Therefore, wouldn’t they be not in office. Also, wouldn’t that preclude them from introducing and passing legislation? Impeach a few of these idiots based on lying under oath and they’ll start toeing the line.

      1. The oath of office is just a group of words to these people, they have no integrity to begin with.
        They will do and say what ever we want to hear to be elected and re-elected.

      2. Yes, Pugliugly did swear that oath, and she’s broken it more times than anyone can count.

        Tjere is a name for this.. it is called felony perjury. SOMEONE needs to bell that cat.. and prosecute.

        Trouble comes in when no one will do what is required….. still far too many alligators in the swamp alongside the Potomac for anyone of her kind to be indicted for felony perjury. Though the eivdence is there to convict her at least a dozen charges….. along with half the rest of the socialist dweebs that infest the halls of Congress.

    19. What???

      Defying anti-Second Amendment laws is NOT a “desperate” option! It is indeed the ONLY sane, intelligent, moral, ethical, effective, and practical option available to true patriots, in order to preserve this Constitutional Republic (no other option will do so).

      1. Amen Joe. Those who advocate doing the same thing over and over again and using the same old broken system to fix the problem and worrying about “offending” the opposition and ignorant non-gun owning population are the same people who got us into this mess in the first place. That’s just watered down political correctness. Action is required and action is what is finally happening. If you’re against those sheriffs and officials finally doing something other than paying lip service, then just shut up and get out of the way.

      2. The People must stand against the “anti-gunners” for if the Second Amendment falls, the rest of The Constitution will be close behind and we will have absolutely NO Rights!

      3. Couldn’t agree more, Joe. Seems like Harold Hutchison is one of those RINO-esque 2nd amendment supporters who lacks a clear understanding of the stakes at play here. He is very “squishy” and PC in all of his columns.

        1. How do we know he’s not a dyed in the wool Progressive or ANTIFA member attempting to talk us into the proverbial “BOX, (Dave in Fairfax notice my slant here)?” Thus his continual goal is to get us to modify our behavior, all the while arming his friends to the teeth for the upcoming games. Would not surprise me if he’s the Green Weasel Dink as well.

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