Do 2A Sanctuary Laws
Really Carry Any Weight?


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By Emily Taylor. Sept 6, 2021

The number of states declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries is on the rise. This means a question asked with increasing frequency is coming to the forefront: Is the decision to make states "sanctuaries" legally binding, or does it only lip service to the gun rights community at large?

Before we get into that, let's answer the question of what it means when states declare themselves sanctuaries.

What Is a Second Amendment Sanctuary?

Generally speaking, a Second Amendment sanctuary is an area where federal gun laws won't be enforced by local authorities. However, in some areas, the sanctuaries only ban enforcement of federal gun laws that are "unconstitutional."

Usually that means local law enforcement won't enforce federal gun laws unless there are already similar state laws. Depending on the statute of the specific area, if authorities attempt to enforce such laws, they could face fines and penalties.

Lately we've been seeing more bills signed into law under different titles, such as "Second Amendment Freedom City" and "Second Amendment Preservation Act," along with the more common "Second Amendment Sanctuary."

How Is Federal Law Different from State Law?

Federal laws apply to the entire country, meaning all 50 states are affected by them. Copyright and bankruptcy laws are examples of federal laws. Bills that become federal laws are introduced by a senator or representative in Washington, D.C., and have to pass the House and Senate before being signed or refused—vetoed—by the President of the United States (sometimes the presidential signature is not required). You can read about the process here.

State laws apply only to the state where they are passed. .....

"One way change can occur is by what's happening now: laws are being passed by various states that say they refuse to enforce any federal law they feel is unconstitutional. That tends to include a lot of the federal gun laws. This raises the question of who has the legal authority to decide which laws are unconstitutional."


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