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EDITORIAL: Say no to gun sanctuary laws

EDITORIAL: Say no to gun sanctuary laws

Communities can't declare themselves exempt from laws they don't like
EDITORIAL: Say no to gun sanctuary laws
Photographer: file photo/provided

The way you get the laws you want is by going to the polls and electing representatives who support the positions you support.

You get them by going to the state capitol and lobbying lawmakers to change the laws. You get them by writing letters to your elected officials. You do it by staging protests, attending town hall meetings, supporting like-minded candidates or running for office yourself.

You don’t get them by declaring yourself and your community exempt from the law.

That’s all this ridiculous movement for the creation of Second Amendment sanctuaries is about — people who object to the state’s tough gun-control laws looking for a way to disobey them.

Not only is it wrong to disobey the laws you disagree with, it’s also unconstitutional for communities to declare themselves exempt from laws.

So it’s refreshing to see local public officials — including those in law enforcement who don’t necessarily agree with all of the state’s gun regulations — standing up against this misguided and illegal effort.

Among those being pressured are Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith and Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino.

Even though he’s not the biggest fan of the state’s SAFE Act gun control law, Smith said he has no intention of supporting people disobeying the law.

Same thing with Giardino, who in addition to being the county’s top law enforcement officer is a former county prosecutor and longtime county judge. 

He declared on his Facebook page that he objected to the expediency with which the SAFE Act was approved and to some of its provisions. But he said he is obligated to uphold laws that the courts have deemed constitutional.

One commenter to Giardino’s Facebook page compared the sheriff’s stance to the Nazis defending their actions as “just following orders” and to laws upholding slavery. Don’t fall for it. It’s not the same thing.

All laws, even those that arise out of constitutional amendments, are subject to restrictions set by the courts. And so far, the SAFE Act and other state and national gun restrictions have been upheld by the courts and at the ballot box.

Another specious argument made by supporters is comparing the Second Amendment sanctuary effort to the effort to create sanctuary communities for immigrants. Again, they’re not the same thing.

Local governments are not legally obligated to cooperate with federal immigration officials, as they are obligated to comply with gun laws.

When it comes to the legislative and judicial process, shortcuts are very hard to come by. If you want the laws changed, do it the right way. 

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