After attending the East Buffalo Township supervisors’ meeting last Monday, when a proposal for a so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance” was first brought up, I was struck by several things:
One, most of those in attendance support the Second Amendment. No one was there to speak against Americans’ Second Amendment rights, including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Second, there was a lot of misinformation about the current status of gun violence prevention laws in Pennsylvania. Act 79, a law to provide safety for domestic abuse victims, was enacted fall 2018. It was supported by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, among other groups. Other proposals in the Legislature are still being debated in order to balance gun violence prevention, due process of the law, and Second Amendment protections for responsible gun owners.
I do not know of any effort in Pennsylvania to take away all firearms rights for responsible citizens.
Third, and most importantly, this ordinance is unnecessary and likely would never stand up in court. East Buffalo Township, or any Pennsylvania municipality, has no authority to decide if a law is constitutional or not — that happens in the Legislature before a law is passed, and then in the courts if need be. Our supervisors and our law enforcement officers are sworn to uphold the laws of the commonwealth, not defy them.
Lastly, it was also clear that many people in the room want to find solutions that will keep Pennsylvanians safe from gun violence, whether that is mass shootings, homicide, unintentional shootings, or suicide. I do, as well. One hundred people die every day in this country from senseless gun violence. Sensible gun laws, responsibly enforced by our brave law enforcement officers, are a critical piece of the puzzle to save lives.
I urge the East Buffalo Township supervisors, and any other local municipal officials considering this proposal, to reject it and instead work together with all of us who want to keep our communities safe.
East Buffalo Township,
Volunteer, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America