The grassroots movement to create Second Amendment Sanctuary locations across the nation — including in Buffalo Township — seems to be a solution in search of a problem.
While we certainly appreciate a good grassroots effort and community organizing, no government entity has or is planning to take anyone’s legally owned and purchased weapons.
Only one municipality in Pennsylvania — Bradford County — has the ordinance. Buffalo Township uses similar language and is designed to prevent the future enforcement of certain gun control measures that they say violate the Second Amendment.
Proponents of these ordinances see them as a “pre-emptive strike” against future gun grabs. Opponents call the national push a “publicity stunt.”
It sure seems more like the latter.
Matt Patterson, director of state and local affairs for the Gun Owners of America, said the ordinances “are a good way of sending a message and showing the will of the people.”
Sean Walton brought the ordinance to the township supervisors. He hopes to see the movement grow out of the township and through the county as a whole. “What these ordinances do is protect gun owners’ rights from future attempts to restrict ownership,” Waltman said, “although the Second Amendment is supposed to. The ordinance would say, in effect, that the governing body would not use any of their resources, personnel, to enforce those unconstitutional laws.”
Including the newly passed “red flag” laws. These were created to make sure individuals who present an immediate danger — either to themselves or others — don’t have access to a gun. In those cases, weapons are handed over to police or a lawyer, on a temporary basis. Gun rights activists oppose the “red flag” laws, concluding too many rights, including due process, are stripped from gun owners. A Second Amendment Sanctuary would mean those communities would be immune to those laws, experts say.
Even if you think someone is coming for all your guns (they aren’t) and even if you think someone wants to ban everything about guns (they don’t), overriding red flag laws is a pathetically bad idea.
That might not be on the mind of those pushing these ordinances, but it should be. Even responsible gun owners understand the need to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. The overwhelming majority of them support background checks.
The ordinances and resolutions are largely symbolic. The optics behind supporting something that would leave guns in the hands of the very people responsible gun owners don’t want to have weapons aren’t all that attractive.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher and top newsroom executives. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.