What is our recourse when our own government criminalizes our most basic rights while it allows Black Lives Matter and Antifa to rampage through our streets with impunity? Is there no Plan B when the federal or state governments treat all conservatives like terrorists, business owners like pariahs, and those who yearn to breathe unmasked air like murderers? Well, one Missouri county is demonstrating the importance of sheriffs and county officials returning to self-government and interposing between the governmental usurpers and the most sacred rights of the people.
On Feb. 3, the Newton County, Missouri, Commission passed a bill that will not only block federal enforcement of unconstitutional gun policies, but criminalize their implantation thereof within the jurisdiction of the county. The “Second Amendment Preservation Act of Newton County Missouri” declares that “all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations passed by the federal government and specifically any Presidential Administration whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in the county.”
That section of the Missouri constitution reads as follows:
That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement.
Specifically, the ordinance targets federal policies that order the tracking or registering of firearms of ammunition, an idea that Democrats have been floating recently. It also bars the enforcement of any effort to confiscate guns except from those who are “suspected criminals.”
The Second Amendment sanctuary movement has been growing throughout the country, with hundreds of counties passing some form of a declaration protecting gun rights from encroachments perpetrated by higher levels of government. The sanctuary movement has only recently come to the state of Missouri, with several counties recently declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries and the state legislature pushing similar bills. But Newton County might have adopted the strongest language in the entire country – going so far as to criminalize enforcement or cooperation with federal law enforcement who seek to enforce such policies.
This is a takeoff of what states like New York did when they criminalized the cooperation between state and county government officials and Immigration and Customs Enforcement with regard to enforcement of federal immigration laws, even against illegal aliens with criminal records. The difference, of course, is that the Second Amendment sanctuary movement seeks to protect legitimate constitutional rights for Americans and, unlike the illegal alien sanctuary movement, does not harbor suspected criminals.
Specifically, section 4a of the Newton County ordinance grants the sheriff’s department “full authority to make an arrest of any and all federal agents that violate state laws and enforce regulations” that violate the Second Amendment. Finally, the ordinance bars anyone “who enforces or attempts to enforce any of the infringements identified in this ordinance” from “being hired as a law enforcement officer or to supervise law enforcement officers in the county.”
It is to be hoped that this will spawn a debate in the country over what citizens should do when the higher levels of government violate the very essence of the social compact by wielding one executive power after another to confiscate the most foundational of natural rights, including self-defense, free speech, property rights, and the right to breathe free air unrestrained, which absolutely is a natural right that predated any government.
The Newton ordinance was signed by commissioners Bill Reiboldt, Alan Cook, and David Osborn on Feb. 3 and is effective immediately.
While most sanctuary ordinances have thus far targeted Second Amendment violations, some counties have begun to pass sanctuary resolutions protecting local business owners and citizens from COVID restrictions that violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. SanctuaryCounties.com is a website that tracks the growing list of these sanctuary counties. Also, a group of listeners of my podcast have organized a network (Constitution Action Network) for people of the same state and county to meet, collaborate, and raise awareness of the power of state and local government to interpose against the growing list of blatant constitutional violations and extra-lawful lawmaking at the stroke of Biden’s executive pen.
The left-wing sanctuary city politicians, while wrong on the policy and legal merits of their arguments, will likely rue the day they created this monster that will now serve as the only remaining beacon for patriots to protect legitimate rights of American citizens.