The Rise of Second Amendment Sanctuaries

Rick Su Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law

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In the past year, more than 400 local governments—mostly counties—have adopted resolutions declaring themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.” These counties are co-opting immigration advocates’ use of sanctuary language to express support for gun rights, attack gun control legislation, and, in some cases, declare that no governmental resources or personnel will be used to enforce laws that “unconstitutionally” or “unnecessarily” infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of individuals to keep and bear arms. Rick Su, professor of law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, analyzes these Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions and concludes that they “lack the power to unilaterally nullify state gun laws in their jurisdiction” and in crucial respects are distinct from the immigration sanctuaries from which they borrow their name.

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