Roanoke County now a Second Amendment sanctuary

Board approved motion unanimously after more than two hours of citizen comment

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – The movement across Virginia regarding Second Amendment sanctuaries made its way to Roanoke County and there’s now another Second Amendment sanctuary in the commonwealth. There wasn’t much question about what action the board would take, and it unanimously approved the resolution after nearly two and half hours of citizen discussion, most of it political grandstanding in favor of supporting the move.

People filled the board meeting room, the lobby outside, the overflow room on the fourth floor, and even stood outside the building watching the meeting on their phones and tablets. Nearly 300 people showed up, many of them with guns save lives stickers, to show their opinion on a proposed second amendment sanctuary in Roanoke County.

“The Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment stands, end of story,” supporter Robert Cook said. “There shouldn’t even be any more discussion after that.”

The board did not discuss the motion at all following citizen comment from about 30 people and immediately voted. About a dozen people did speak against the proposal however, saying they don’t want what’s been dubbed “sanctuary status” in their community.

“I believe that Roanoke County and the board of supervisors have much more critical and important items to deal with than discuss and pass a meaningless resolution that is not worth the paper that it’s printed on,” opponent Janet Scheid said.

The resolution was crafted by the county attorney to stay within the board’s legal bounds, and he reminded the board to be wary of requests from citizen’s that the board could not legally do. The language includes no direct orders, but rather tells state government it’s concerned about potential laws restricting guns.

“While it may be seen as symbolic, it does send a very clear message to all of the legislators in Virginia,” Delegate Chris Head, Republican of the 17th District said.

Both Delegates Chris Head and Joe McNamara, who represent parts of the county, voiced support on the issue. They’ll take the county’s resolution to Richmond as leverage against any proposed state changes.

“The violent crime rate in Virginia is less than half of the national average, what we’re doing is working, we want the Virginia that we have and we want to keep it," Delegate Joe McNamara, Republican of the 8th District said.

Supporters also engaged in historical hyperbole Tuesday, comparing their symbolic movement to that of Colonial American Revolutionists symbolically dumping tea in the Boston harbor.

Earlier Tuesday, the Amherst County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted, 5-0 to approve the resolution to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Tuesday’s vote in Roanoke County followed Monday’s Roanoke City Council meeting, where the city announced it would not become a Second Amendment sanctuary.

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