WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – “They’re trying to make all of us good citizens criminals,” a Wythe County resident said about state Democrats.
Wythe County residents did not bring a knife to this gunfight on Tuesday morning.
“I sleep with a gun and I’ve got one on right now,” a Wythe County resident said, speaking to county supervisors at the meeting.
After a few laughs and cheers, the woman flashed open her coat to reveal her gun.
Several hundred people attended the meeting, locked and loaded, taking aim at Democrats proposing gun laws ahead of the upcoming legislative session.
County residents worry their guns are at risk of being taken away.
“They won’t take mine,” Wythe County resident Sandra Wright said, smiling.
Another resident called the proposed gun laws theft.
“Basically, what’s going on is people have purchased something legally where they live and now the government’s saying, ‘We’ve changed our minds. We’re going to come take that from you and we’re not going to compensate you for that,” he said. “The overwhelming majority of Wythe County wants to be a sanctuary because they don’t believe in what the government is trying to do to us."
After about an hour of comments, county supervisors unanimously voted to pass a resolution declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary, meaning they will not enforce any state laws that they feel restrict a person’s right to bear arms.
“This is not a priority (for state legislators),” supervisor Brian Vaught said just before the vote was taken. "I hope they take as much interest in the education funding in Southwest Virginia. We need funding in Southwest Virginia. Again, we’ve got a governor that likes to brag about a surplus. So there are issues that these new delegates and senators need to address. They need to leave our guns alone.”
The lone opposition to declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary came from a resident who asked supervisors to consider the potential lawsuits that could result and all of the money that could potentially cost the county if the state passes gun laws and the county chooses not to enforce them.
“How much is that going to break this county? How much are we going to raise property taxes to cover those costs,” he said.