By Phil Reboli for GOA.
Over sixty- percent of counties in America have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries.
Second Amendment Sanctuary is not a well-defined term; neither is Sanctuary City for illegal aliens.
The purpose of a SASO is to express opposition or noncompliance with state or federal gun control. When cities, counties, or states refuse to enforce state or federal gun control, they become sanctuary zones.
There is no governing body dictating the outcome for these localities. Organizations dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment and advancing our liberties are helping where they can, but they don’t have any legislative power.
The rise of hundreds of municipalities in over forty states that became Second Amendment Sanctuaries is a completely grassroots effort; aided by groups like Gun Owners of America.
These communities are demanding that local governments and states at least make a public statement to oppose federal gun control or outright not enforce it. Withholding taxed dollars by refusing to enforce gun control is a powerful tool that local governments have by right. State legislators and Governors are listening.
At the same time, Washington DC, the lobbyists, the special interests, and front organizations that are funded by a small handful of wealthy devotees are all still demanding gun control. As if the Second Amendment Sanctuary phenomenon isn’t even happening, Washington leans heavily toward restricting rather than enforcing our gun rights.
There are a number of excellent, pro-Second Amendment legislative initiatives by some of the country’s best Members of Congress.
The question isn’t how many good pieces of federal, firearms legislation there are compared to bad ones that restrict our right to self-defense.
The real question here is why is there so much gun control coming out of Washington when most of the counties in America are declared Second Amendment Sanctuaries?
Different counties and states have taken different approaches to their sanctuaries.
Towns in Maine have taken positions on Second Amendment Sanctuaries by passing resolutions declaring their opposition to federal and state gun control. These may be non-binding resolutions but as the number of SASOs increases in Maine, residents of that state are sending a clear message to federal and state legislatures about how they should enhance, not heavily restrict, the right to own firearms.
Luis Valdes, Florida State Director for Gun Owners of America, has counted over forty counties out of Florida’s sixty-seven that have passed SASOs or resolutions condemning gun control. The increasing number of localities passing these ordinances say they are doing so in response to the passage of Florida’s Red Flag Gun Confiscation Order.
The abuse of Florida’s Red Flag Gun Confiscation Order law has been well documented. Reporting shows that ninety-seven percent of orders to confiscate firearms, without due process, are approved. This has led to over 3,500 confiscations since the law was passed in 2018.
Red Flag Gun Confiscation allows for the seizure of firearms without due process; a yearly renewal of the seizure doesn’t require new evidence. Presumably, supporters of this practice would argue that the 3,500 confiscations since 2018 saved lives. Specifically, they would say that these 3,500 confiscations stopped mass murders since the law was passed in a political climate charged immediately after a mass murder.
The FBI defines a mass shooting (e.g., murder) as three or more murders in one spree. That means that theoretically, these 3,500 confiscations saved almost 1,100 Floridians.
These numbers would suggest that Florida is one of the most dangerous places on the planet.
Of course, these numbers are bunk. These confiscations were mostly used against peaceful, good people. And almost all of these confiscations violated their civil right to due process.
That is why Florida’s counties are taking SASOs seriously. They recognize that the reasoning behind the Red Flag Gun Confiscation is flawed and heavily influenced by politics.
You can find examples like Florida and Maine all over the country.
Yet, Washington DC continues to talk about gun control because there’s money in it.
The Biden administration along with House and Senate Democrats are pushing dozens of gun control measures in both legislative and executive fiat form.
In March, at Biden’s insistence, the Democrat-controlled House passed two pieces of controversial gun control.
The first bill expanded background checks for private sales. This is ripe for abuse by future administrations. If a government wanted to create a national gun registry in anticipation of nationwide gun confiscation, this would be the first step.
The second bill delays the already lengthy wait time that the FBI has to perform a background check to ten days. It is currently three days, after those three days if a background check is not performed by the FBI within that three-day period, it is up to the FFL (i.e. the gun store) to decide if the purchaser should have a gun.
Why did they choose ten days? Why not fifty or a year? The opportunities for abuse are real and obvious. Wait times and background checks have no place in our constitutional republic. A right delayed is a right denied.
Thanks to the Senate Filibuster, these two bills have little chance of passing the Senate and going to the President’s desk.
But the Filibuster is not the concern here. These two measures are being imposed on the country while sixty percent of counties are publicly rejecting more gun control. It’s clear how disconnected Washington is from the needs, wants, and concerns of Americans.
The executive branch also thinks it has tools at its disposal. The use of executive orders in place of Congressionally-passed law has only increased. It reached its nadir in the last administration when the DOJ made it a crime to possess a bump stock. Thankfully, the Gun Owners of America sued and is pursuing the case in court.
President Biden has nominated David Chipman to lead the ATF. Chipman has argued that the Biden administration can bypass Congress and outlaw or regulate components of commonly owned hunting rifles to the point of extinction. Standard capacity magazines, gun barrels, even plastic components are on the chopping block for executive action.
Biden’s administration has also written model legislative language on Red Flag Gun Confiscation Orders. He hopes the states will use this language to write their own laws to confiscate guns. Biden also wishes for Congress to pass this law and make the confiscation nationwide.
But none of this gun control is actually being asked for by Americans. The proof is in the work to expand SASOs.
Counties and states are rejecting national gun control – in particular, Red Flag Gun Confiscation Orders and Universal Background Checks – and Washington is choosing to ignore them.
The phenomena are not relegated to red states. Purple states like Colorado and deep blue states including New Jersey and California all have counties that support SASOs.
Clawing for federal gun control while Americans actively reject it is a form of anarcho-tyranny. The powers know what the people want, they chose to ignore those voices in the service of their own political and cultural ends.
Thankfully, we are living through a bottom-up revolution where Americans are ensuring they have the means to defend themselves against criminals and tyrants, and when we can no longer tell the difference between the two.
The SASOs are mostly occurring at the county level. In states, this is one of the smallest units of government. In spite of their frustration, Americans involved in the SASO movement are still reaching for a peaceful solution. By using the existing political and governing infrastructure, they are signaling to their states and federal government that despite ideological and political differences, we can all live amongst one another, cordially.
The powers of Washington DC are evidently seeking another path. In all presidential administrations, Biden in particular, gun rights are never truly secure.
President Biden, the spokesman for the gun control lobby, is now using threats of violence to get his message across.
In a press conference on the Second Amendment, President Biden said that, if Americans ever feel the need to take on a tyrannical government, their AR15s wouldn’t be enough – they would also need F15s and nuclear weapons. The implication here is that President Biden would direct a nuclear strike against Americans!?
There’s another interesting implication in this statement. President Biden likes to say that AR15s are weapons of war, but in this press conference he said those same AR15s would be useless against the government in a war. So which is it, are they weapons or war or useless in war? Dissecting this inconsistency is for another time.
These two views of the country cannot be reconciled. One group must concede if everyone is going to live together peacefully. So which should it be?
The Biden administration wants total disarmament of the American population. In order for this to succeed, there must be a violent confrontation between Biden’s enforcers and the peaceful Americans he wishes to disarm.
The SASO communities and states only want Washington to back off. This can have a peaceful end if Washington takes a cue from the growing number of SASO communities and stops pushing gun control on unwilling communities and states.
The most peaceful outcome is for Washington to recognize the wishes of these communities and walk away from a fight.
Phil Reboli is a Senior Policy Advisor for Gun Owners of America and the Host of the Minute Man Moment. He is a former adviser to Senator Mike Lee of Utah.
Gun Owners of America
Gun Owners of America has previously supported the right of members and staff to carry firearms on Capitol Hill for self-defense, as GOA supports the rights of all law-abiding citizens to carry firearms in their workplace. Gun Owners of America is a grassroots organization representing more than two million gun owners nationwide and is dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise.