Virginia AG Says 2A Sanctuaries “have no legal force.” But Is That Actually True?

Saturday, December 21, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Daisy Luther
TheOrganicPrepper.com
December 21, 2019

The Attorney General of Virginia stepped into the fray yesterday with an opinion on the validity of Second Amendment Sanctuaries that have sprung up across the state in response to draconian gun control legislation. He said that the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions have no legal force and that municipalities will have no choice but to enforce the unconstitutional laws, should the bill be turned into law in January.

But is this actually true? Or is it just a statement meant to discourage dissent? Digging into this, it seems that it’s certainly not as cut and dried as the AG would have us all believe.

This article will be filled with lots of quotes from pertinent legal documents. I’m not an attorney so I’m just laying out my findings. The emphasis throughout is mine.

You can draw your own conclusions.

The Official Statement

Let’s start out with what AG Mark Herring had to say.

The Virginia Constitution, the Code of Virginia, and established common law doctrines all bear on these questions.

First, the Constitution of Virginia provides that all local authority is subject to the control of the General Assembly. For example, Article V Il, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that “[t]he General Assembly shall provide by general law for the . powers . of counties, cities, towns, and regional governments.”[1]

Second, the Code of Virginia establishes the supremacy of state law over local ordinances and policies. Section 1-248 provides:

The Constitution and laws of the United States and of the Commonwealth shall be supreme. Any ordinance, resolution, bylaw, rule, regulation, or order of any governing body or any corporation, board, or number of persons shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the Commonwealth.[[2][3][4])

As the Virginia Supreme Court has explained, because local authority is subordinate to state law, “local ordinances must conform to and not be in conflict with the public policy of the State as embodied in its statutes.

Third, established common law doctrines specifically limit the authority of local governments. Virginia follows the Dillon Rule, which provides that local governments may exercise “only those powers expressly granted by the General Assembly, those necessarily or fairly implied therefrom, and those that are essential and indispensable. The Dillon Rule is one of strict construction: “[I]f there is a reasonable doubt whether legislative power exists, the doubt must be resolved against the local governing body. Thus, when a Virginia locality seeks to take any action, the Dillon Rule applies “to determine in the first instance, from express words or by implication, whether a power exists at all. If a locality cannot identify a reasonably specific source of delegated authority, “the inquiry is at an end” and the act in question is unauthorized.

The Rest…HERE

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