BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to establish the county as a Second Amendment sanctuary on Tuesday afternoon.
Hundreds attended the meeting as the room itself was packed and hundreds more were put in overflow rooms. Nearly all attendees wore Second Amendment sanctuary stickers.
A county administrator estimates that about 450 people attended the meeting.
Dozens spoke before the board, and not one opposed the resolution. Several people actually urged the board to take an even stronger stance against any potential laws from the General Assembly that they say would infringe upon their Second Amendment rights.
Another common theme Tuesday afternoon was the acknowledgment that this step is essentially just ceremonial, but still, a necessary step.
“Don’t let Botetourt County be culpable in the death of liberties and freedoms and don’t let Botetourt County be silent, or worse, be weak concerning this assault on our liberties and freedoms. Be strong. Be what Botetourt county has been for 243 years,” said one attendee.
“I’m very happy. I was pushing for this myself. I think it’s very important that we send a message, a message out to everybody, including the General Assembly, how we feel on this," said Billy Martin, chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors.
Delegate Chris Head, who represents Virginia’s 17th district, which includes Botetourt County, was also in the crowd Tuesday.
Head spoke before public comment started, saying he’s not surprised by some of the gun legislation that’s already been filed, but he’s disturbed.
Others also made it clear that this is just the first step, urging the board to do whatever they can to protect their Second Amendment rights.
The board urged people to contact their legislators directly and show up when the next General Assembly session starts in January.
Botetourt County joins a number of local areas that have passed similar resolutions.