Petition circulates on social media asking to make local county a Second Amendment sanctuary

Posted at 6:24 PM, Nov 25, 2019

GLOUCESTER Co., Va. -- More than 300 signatures were received on a petition in favor of making Gloucester County a Second Amendment sanctuary county.

The petition was started by Shawn Coyne, a local county resident. He said the petition is a response to Gov. Ralph Northam's gun law proposals he unveiled last summer.

"These are the people that are going to be affected if these laws go into effect," Coyne said.

Northam's proposal included eight different measures that are expected to be up for discussion in the 2020 General Assembly.

"I am confident the legislature will come to Richmond in January and discuss these pieces of legislation," Northam said in a visit to Norfolk on Nov. 13. "There may be others as well that are added to that and we will finally have some laws that will make Virginia safer."

The petition said it hopes to "to protect the second amendment rights of the residents of Gloucester County." The petition also references Carroll County, Virginia, which also adopted a measure to make itself a sanctuary county earlier this year.

Coyne said the Second Amendment, while not only a constitutional right, is vital to rural communities.

"For me, it gives me the right to protect my family, to protect my home and my property," Coyne said. "I’m not a hunter, which is kind of rare for Gloucester.”

Coyne added he does not lean left or right on the political spectrum. He added he does agree with Northam's proposal on background checks.

Related: Local Democrat 'disappointed and disgusted' after Republicans cancel important gun control meeting

"I am not against background checks personally," Coyne said. "All my firearms were obtained legally. Everything I purchased went through an FFL to purchase."

The Second Amendment sanctuary topic is also set to be discussed on the local government level. The Gloucester Board of Supervisors will discuss this during its Tuesday night board meeting, according to the agenda.

"I'm very pleased to see our supervisors considering the motion," Coyne said. "I think we've gotten a pretty fair response from them thus far."

The meeting is set for Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place inside the Colonial Courthouse located at 6504 Main Street in Gloucester. Coyne said he will submit his petition to the board that morning.

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