Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued a legal opinion declaring that the second Amendment sanctuary city decrees of more than 100 localities in Virginia have “no force of law,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Friday.
JUST IN: @AGMarkHerring issues legal opinion declaring gun-rights decrees adopted by more than 100 Virginia localities have no force of law – that they represent a groundless effort to void firearms restrictions.
— Jeff E. Schapiro (@RTDSchapiro) December 20, 2019
Herring’s advisory opinion comes as the vast majority of Virginia’s 95 counties have declared themselves sanctuary jurisdictions from strict gun control legislation currently making its way through the state legislature. The bills, backed by Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, would ban the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 and mandate that current owners register their weapons with the government. (RELATED: Democrats Take Control Of Virginia Legislature For First Time In Decades)
“Neither local governments nor local constitutional officers have the authority to declare state statutes unconstitutional or decline to follow them on that basis,” Herring wrote in the opinion. “Neither the Federal Constitution nor Virginia law recognizes any “anti-commandeering” principle that allows localities or local constitutional officers to refuse to participate in the enforcement of state law.”
Three Virginia counties — Arlington, Chesterfield, and Fairfax — are currently sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, flaunting federal immigration law.