Imitation: The Sincerest Flattery

Map of current and proposed red flag law states

The progressive side of the American political debate has declared itself and its policies immune to federal, state, and sometimes even local laws. It does this in small ways as well as large ones. This ranges from violent suppression of the Freedom of Speech rights of conservative students and pundits on college campuses to the creation of sanctuary cities and states. This sanctuary involves several things, but it mostly revolves around illegal immigrants and federal laws regarding them.

Map of current and proposed red flag law states
As of the end of 2018, 13 states had passed “Red Flag” laws. Mostly the usual suspects on the left coast and New England; but, Florida is also on that list. Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are currently considering such rubbish.

From a federal perspective, it is illegal to enter the country without an appropriate visa or a prearranged political exemption. California completely invalidates this with a welcome-arms approach, and then actively works to thwart federal officials from enforcing those laws. There are even state laws barring local and state law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal authorities with regard to illegal aliens.

In a great “turnabout is fair play” decision, many blue states have county sheriffs declaring their counties sanctuaries on all things regarding state gun control laws. These sheriffs have publicly stated that many laws enacted or currently up for vote will be deemed invalid in their counties. Some have specifically stated that any officer or deputy working with the state officials will be fired. Others have been more direct in their statements on the subject.

The vast majority of these sheriffs are elected officials who run the law enforcement in red counties of blue states. The divide is between the big-city Democrats and the rural conservatives. The sheriffs see their duty as protecting and serving the citizens of their county and enforcing the standards of the local conservative voters against the dictates of the big city Democratic machine. Most also reference the Second Amendment as their reason for refusing to enforce what they view as “unconstitutional” laws.

There are several types of laws that are being challenged in this way. One set is age limits on purchases of long guns by those under the age of 21. Another is the crop of “Red Flag” laws that have zero due-process provisions. The last large area of these nullified laws regard enhanced background checks or largely expanded requirements for using background checks for the transfer in possession (not ownership) of a gun.

Handgun lying over a copy of the United States constitution and the American flag.
Gun control is as alive and strong as it has ever been. Do not be fooled. It is a cancer. Often being harbored in the body of America and unseen until it rears its ugly head.

In Oregon, eight counties’ legislators have backed sanctuary sheriffs. Roughly, 20 of Washington State’s sheriffs have refused to enforce the new gun laws, and five county legislators officially backed them with legislation. New Mexico has seen more than 20 of its 33 counties pass laws giving the sheriff discretion to determine which gun laws are unconstitutional.

Illinois is also active in this area, but its actions are more muted as the new gun legislation has not yet been passed. There are also groups in California, New York, Idaho, and Iowa that are sharing information with those who have already taken a stand. They are carefully tracking proposed local laws and what occurs in the areas that have already declared their defiance.

On the surface, this is a great thing. Local elected officials are standing up for the Constitution, the preservation of rights of the electorate, and doing it despite intense negative media coverage.

I stand in solidarity with this course of action. It does two things. First, it very effectively draws a line in the sand. This will force lawsuits or other legal action and force courts to determine who is correct. Our side will win some and lose others.

Second Amendment and sanctuary gun counties
It seems the government only wants to pass laws to strip the weapons from honest gun owners. I have yet to hear of a single law being proposed that seeks to remove guns from the hands of criminals. Have you?

This will set up a Supreme Court date where further incorporation of the Second Amendment will have to be determined. This of course assumes the Supreme Court doesn’t punt, again.

Second, it uses the nullification efforts of the left against them. If the sheriffs cannot nullify state laws that violate the U.S. Constitution, how can state immigration sanctuary laws be legal when the federal laws they void are constitutionally legitimate?

The true downside to this is slightly less obvious. When one group unilaterally refuses to enforce a set of laws and the courts back them despite precedent, this is the first step toward a nation of men, not a nation of laws. When the other side nullifies a different set of laws, regardless of how the courts act, the second step has been taken on the path to a Banana Republic.

Note, I am not saying the sheriffs shouldn’t do what they are doing. They are doing what must be done. I am simply stating that the Republic is getting much closer to the cliff with each reaction to the grand overreach of our “pen and a phone” would-be dictators.

Do you agree with the author? Is the Republic close to the edge of the cliff? What’s your opinion of sanctuary gun counties or cities? Share your answers and analysis of the system in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog. "The Shooter's Log", is to provide information - not opinions - to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decicions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (27)

  1. I strenuously object to your characterization of those of us on the
    “progressive side of the American political debate.” Your stated mission is to
    “provide information – not opinions .” You are failing in that mission.

  2. The map above is incorrect! Colorado and its elected Democrats, crazy with power after winning big in the most recent elections, have already passed their cherished ERPO law, cutting our Constitutional protections to the quick. Thankfully, over a dozen county sheriffs in Colorado have declared their formal opposition to this new, unconstitutional law, and stated they will be 2nd Amendment sanctuary places. God bless them all for their courage!!

  3. The Cities like California, that are soft on crime, are going to turn those cities into crime ridden sewers. What will these cities do? They will take guns away from decent, honest citizens. The criminals will still have their guns. Those States and Cities are pro-criminal!

  4. I greatly support the Sheriff department! They are the only ones that can and should enforce the laws,
    and they are the only ones that stand between the citizens and corrupt and unjust laws passed by a corrupted , overstepping government few.
    The police, both city and state work for these corrupted government politicians, who very rarely uphold what they promised to the people.

  5. How can the sherriff overrule a legislated law? What can be done to recall an elected official (sherriff)? Is there a legal redimedy to stop a political elected official from declaring a sanctuary city or a version of gun control in violation of the 2nd ammendent!

  6. If a Law is wrong and NOT in the best interest of the people, then it needs to be corrected, one way, or another. Going against any law that “infringes” the 2nd Amendment is not a step closer to the cliff. It’s a step in the opposite direction and that is away from the cliff’s edge onto more solid ground of security and freedom.

  7. Part of the reason that our country exists is the reasonable exportation that we have the right to face an accuser in a court of law. RED Laws take this right away from citizens of the US. Somebody that yippy don’t even know can make a a statement against you and if the court is declined, you could have your weapons seized. No facing your accuser, no day in court, and then you have to prove you are okay too have your weapons back.
    Somehow this seems constitutionally prohibited. Where is the “innocent until proven guilty”? Where is your 6th Amendment rights to trial. By the 2nd amendment we have the right to have and hold weapons, but it seems now that because you exercise this right you lose all other constitutional rights because the Red Laws don’t require any proof that you are dangerous to yourself or others.

  8. I agree with this author. But would go a long way further.
    It is time that the Supreme Court defines these laws permanently. The bill of right, The US constitution, is not to be interpreted or modified. It is the glue that is supposed to bond our country. Anyone that would change it or not follow it should be dealt with according to the laws set forth by it. That includes congress or the Supreme Court.

  9. The Democrats are intentionally leaving our borders open and promising Healthcare and social benefits to illegals to encourage them to vote in places that voter ID is not required. Talk about foreign influence on us elections. So taking a stand in this way fprcing the courts to make a decision on who has to upholds the laws including Sanctuary cities is a great idea.

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