RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said Thursday that resolutions passed by more than 40 Virginia cities and counties declaring themselves as “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” don’t hold any legal weight.
Herring told 8News that the resolutions are simply “expressions of opposition” to stricter gun laws being proposed in the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session.
The attorney general said if any bills are passed, he expects them to be followed by all Virginians.
“These resolutions have no legal effect whatsoever. It’s really the gun lobby trying to scare a lot of people,” Herring said. “When the General Assembly passes it in the upcoming session, those laws are going to be enforced and they will be followed.”
The localities that have adopted the resolutions say they will essentially ignore any new state gun laws. The movement has spread since Virginia flipped blue in November’s elections.
The question that has loomed is whether these “sanctuaries” will actually choose not to enforce new state gun laws.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Herring told 8News. “These laws, when they get passed, they’re going to be followed and when you look at the resolutions that are being passed, they’re really just expressions of opposition to these gun safety measure that Virginians have demanded for a long time.”
“When you talk to those who are in law enforcement and really push them a little bit, like a sheriff or a prosecutor and say, ‘So, really? You mean you’re going to allow violent felons to go ahead and purchase firearms?’ No. They back down pretty quickly.”
More than a dozen gun control bills have been pre-filed ahead of the 2020 General Assembly session, which begins on Jan. 8, 2020.