Upstate counties consider creating '2nd Amendment Sanctuaries'

Jan 24, 2020

There is a push to make counties in upstate New York into second amendment sanctuaries. It is the result of unrest over state gun laws.

Grand Island and Wyoming County have already declared themselves sanctuary regions. People who want these sanctuaries say laws that restrict gun access are unconstitutional, such as New York’s SAFE Act.

Steve Felano, with the group 2AWNY, wants counties to pass ordinances that say local police won’t enforce some gun laws. For Felano, it’s a 10th amendment issue. It states powers not given specifically to the federal government go to the states or the people.

Felano said New York Attorney General Letitia James uses the same argument to defend immigrant rights legislation, like the Green Light law.

“So, they can’t have their cake and eat it too,” he continued. “You can’t simply say ‘yes, the 10th amendment applies when it fits our left-wing, ideological purposes, but does not apply when we’re dealing with gun control non-enforcement’.”*

James’ office did not immediately return a request for comment.

Felano said he’s working with residents to create a 2nd amendment sanctuary in Delaware County, and other counties are interested as well. “Chenango is another one, Oneida is another group that’s reached out. Otsego,” he added “And there are others, you know, that I have noticed that are at least having a discussion about this.”**

Felano said the next step is to push county governments to adopt ordinances that support non-enforcement of gun laws. From there, he said, they can challenge the constitutionality of those laws.

Similar efforts are underway across the country, including Pennsylvania. Commissioners in Bradford County recently passed a resolution making it a second amendment sanctuary. Unlike an ordinance, a resolution is essentially symbolic.