IW Board of Supervisors to address gun rights

Published 3:31 am Wednesday, December 11, 2019

By Diana McFarland


Virginia’s tidal wave of grassroots support for the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution is expected to arrive before the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors Thursday. 

Due to the anticipated crowd, Board Chairman William McCarty plans to call a special meeting specifically for this issue and move it to the Windsor Town Center at 7:30 p.m. 

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McCarty is not sure if the Board will take action, as it has not had any sample resolutions or options to consider. He does, however, anticipate some conversation between Board members.

“It will be an interesting discussion to say the least,” he said. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The Board was warmed up to the idea at its November meeting, when many spoke out in favor of adopting a sanctuary resolution. The Surry County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution supporting the Second Amendment, but stopped short of declaring the county a sanctuary.

The City of Suffolk apparently declined to get on the bandwagon, according to the organization that has spearheaded this movement. 

The VCDL has reported that more than 40 counties, cities and towns have adopted resolutions against the state infringing on its residents’ gun rights, and is in response to new laws expected to be brought before the General Assembly by the upcoming Democratic majority. 

This is how the VCDL defines a Second Amendment Sanctuary:

“A Second Amendment Sanctuary is any locality that says it will not enforce any unconstitutional (federal or state) gun laws!  Many sheriffs are going to take the county’s lead on this and county police could be told not to enforce such laws either.  (Law enforcement officers do not have to, and shouldn’t, enforce any unconstitutional laws.),” according to the VCDL website.

Tazewell County took the idea a step further and passed a resolution allowing it to order a militia, according to the Bristol Herald Courier. 

That resolution also calls for concealed weapons training for all residents and teaching gun safety in public schools. 

Local residents have formed a Facebook group, “Make Isle of Wight Co. a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary,” which has more than 1,380 members.

Some members are contacting Isle of Wight County Sheriff James Clarke and Commonwealth’s Attorney Georgette Phillips, as it is the law enforcement branch of government in the county that would enforce any new gun laws, not the Board of Supervisors. 

Member Justin Linza asked Clarke and Phillips to hold a separate question and answer meeting about how it plans to enforce any new gun laws. 

Will residents have to go through a gun checkpoint, similar to a DUI check, or worry about their vehicles being searched? asked Linza. 

Volpe Boykin, president of the Central and Southern Isle of Wight Citizens Group, said he knows the sanctuary movement is mostly symbolic, but believes the numbers behind the movement will give Democrats pause, particularly those in rural areas.

It’s a city versus rural issue, said Boykin.

Isle of Wight County attorney Bobby Jones said he has looked at the resolutions passed by other localities, and has created some language from what other Boards have done so the supervisors can look it over, if so desired.  

Jones said if a Board member were to bring a resolution, it could be considered and voted upon Thursday.   {/mprestriction}