Mark Herring

Attorney General Mark Herring (D)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Resolutions passed by local governments declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” have “no legal effect," Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said Friday.

Since Democrats won majorities in the state Senate and House of Delegates in November, more than 100 cities, towns and counties have passed such resolutions, vowing to oppose any new gun laws they believe violate the Second Amendment.

On Friday, Herring issued an advisory opinion on the resolutions. Herring said localities “cannot nullify state laws” and must follow gun violence prevention measures passed by the General Assembly.

“These resolutions have no legal force, and they’re just part of an effort by the gun lobby to stoke fear,” Herring said in a statement.

Thousands of gun rights advocates have shown up at county meetings around the state to support the resolutions. Some have vowed to defy new gun restrictions they believe violate theír Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the gun rights group Virginia Citizens Defense League, called Herring's advisory opinion “a yawn."

“The whole idea was to send a message from local government representing large numbers of people to say no more gun control,” Van Cleave said.

Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Ralph Northam have proposed an array of gun control laws, including universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and red flag laws that would allow the temporary removal of guns from someone who is deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(31) comments


We need sanctuaries for:

-clean air

-clean water

-fair labor practices

-equal educational opportunities

-freedom from corporate dominance of government

-safe workplaces

When the 2nd amendment, RTLs and anti-immigrant folks starting pushing legislators on these goals, then they can claim they are serious about improving America not just flogging one or two issues.


All Sanctuary Resolutions statewide should include Sanctuary for the unborn!


Remember, Van Cleave thought arming toddlers, and teaching them how to shoot, was a good idea. It was on TV and everything.


Remember when Joe Biden (D), thought firing both rounds from a double barrel shotgun into the air was a good idea? You know, to scare off somebody who might be prowling around outside of you home. Of course such an act would very likely be illegal and certainly incredibly stupid since the weapon is now empty and the contents of the shells are now landing in parts unknown. Or when Joe Biden (D) suggested that an occupant of a home should fire a shotgun through the door in order to keep people away from their home. Because a shotgun is easier to control than a semi-auto rifle. Oh yeah, that was incredibly stupid and possibly a criminal act, too.


Ace, you forgot the most important point. What goes up must come down, according to Isaac Newton. Ouch, the bullets hurt, might even kill you. Biden was never the brightest bulb in the box.


Is it Election Day yet in Virginia? Time to remove the Governor, Lt. Gov. and Attorney General from office. We cannot have our leadership moonlighting minstrel shows for their friends or sexually assaulting women and calling it consensual.


Just like Illegal Alien sanctuaries have no effect? See how that works Dems. Love how when your own tactics are turned against you, you cry fowl .


The stupid law the leftists in VA will pass will have "no effect of law" either....cant trump the US Constitution....


Agreed. Why is blackface racist Herring still in office? Do the citizens a favor and RESIGN!


Herring said localities “cannot nullify state laws” and must follow gun violence prevention measures passed by the General Assembly. What about counties and states that ignore Federal Law. State law cannot trump the constitution. The Supreme Court will eventually be the arbiter of these laws.


All this debate about guns is just becoming a yawn.

Why don't folks put this energy into dealing with pervasive poverty, income disparity, shortcomings in our educational system, 1st amendment rights, fact and science-based governing, crime & recidivism and the many other issues we are facing. These are societal problems that brass and gunpowder won't solve.


If Democrats wouldn't spend all their time trying to prohibit gun ownership and just abide by the 2nd Amendment, this issue would be moot. The odds of anybody being killed by a gun is 1 in 32,000. The odds of you being killed by a heart attack is 1 in 500. Democrats would save more lives if they spent their time outlawing McDonalds Cheeseburgers and forcing people to exercise.


Do you think the 310 people who are shot on average everyday in the U.S. care about that statistic and the families of more than 100 that die everyday? Active shooter incidents are now occurring on average every 13 days in the U.S. and are continuing to climb. Pretty big numbers. We have become numb to children being shot. Living in an OK Corral Society is not safe no matter how some of you try to twist the facts. Safer and sane gun laws that don't infringe on your 2nd amendment right can and should be implemented to reduce those numbers.


Wow, talk about twisting the facts: 2/3rds of all gun deaths are suicides. Strange that you didn't make mention of that. Or, to bring this back to the subject at hand... since the (D)s want to ban rifles, how about the fact that knives are used to murder FIVE TIMES as many people as long guns. When someone is stabbed, do we blame the knife? When a drunk driver kills someone on the road, do we blame the vehicle? When a terrorist flies a plane into a building, do we blame the aircraft? NOBODY is "numb" to children losing their lives. Whether its due to a violent act or a disease. "Safer and sane" gun laws, as you say, likely aren't and certainly will not prevent violent criminals from committing crime.


Every one who shot and killed someone has already violated one law or another, why do we need more laws for the same thing? What do you accomplish with all the fear tactics? How many of those shot are people who don't handle or clean their guns properly, not storing a gun properly, and not shooting properly or by accident of some kind. Maybe laws against ignorance (stupidity) would be more appropriate.



@ace10 and CC: guns are guns, and they are used 7 times more than knives in murders. That is a fact. Keeping guns out of the wrong hands, saves lives. Another fact is the odds of someone successfully killing themselves is greatly increased when there is a gun in the home. 10% of suicide attempts are by guns, but guns account for 50% of suicides. You think family members of suicide victims wish that gun would not have been in the house after the fact? What do you think PTSD or depression, plus alcohol with a gun in the home can add up to? The stats show all of us. I personally know a family that is completely destroyed now, because their mentally-ill son was able to obtain a gun without any background check. I guess you are okay with that? I guess you are okay with women being murdered in their home by significant others with a history of domestic violence and easy access to a gun? and on, and on....

Jeanne T

If you are so concerned about "gun violence", then where is the most logical place to start addressing it?

--in rural areas looking for shotguns and hunting rifles?

--in the suburbs looking for home defense rifles and handguns (where many LEOs have family and friends)?

--or in the inner cities looking for Saturday night specials?

I assume you would say the nexus that is the source of the great majority of gun-related crime. That would be what sincere gun-control advocates whose TRUE concern was reducing illegal gun violence would do.

Do you agree, "debbbie"?


Safer and sane alcohol laws that don't infringe on your 18th amendment right can and should be implemented to reduce deaths. That didn’t end well either did it? Death continue because criminals don’t respect the laws and overpowering enforcement adversely effects freedom.


Herring doesn't get it. If a county's law enforcement refuses to enforce a state law, then the state has to spend money and resources to expand the state police to do the work. It's not a question of legality, but of resources.

Jeanne T

President James Madison said: “…local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere.” (Federalist 39)

“There is no lawful authority for judges or a court to direct the law enforcement activities of a county sheriff. He’s not a part of the judiciary, and holds executive power and can set up a court, empanel a jury, and form a militia or posse to protect the rights of those he represents.”

In other words, county sheriffs have the constitutional authority and duty to protect the citizens, by force if necessary, even if it means authorizing a militia.

In the immortal words of Nick Mulvaney...get over it. Elections have consequences.

Jeanne T

"Elections have consequences."

Indeed. Tell that to your party. One of the consequences is that at last count Virginia now has 112 Second Amendment sanctuaries. Democrats were EXPLICITLY TOLD when they started this 'sanctuary city' nonsense that they were saying that any time they don't like a law they can just declare themselves a 'sanctuary' against the law. They were EXPLICITLY TOLD conservatives were going to do EXACTLY this against gun laws.

We are no longer a nation of laws. Enjoy the new normal, Democrats.


Now that is really ripe coming from you MAGA, LOL!!!!!!! Can't make this up folks. I guess elections only have consequences if MAGA supports the candidate.


They do have consequences, 112 declared 2A sanctuaries as of last night.... and still counting.


At this point his advisory may be just be what he claims. an opinion. The 2nd Amendment supersedes any State law. How many times did it take to pass bar exam?


Black Face Herring, no legal effect? He may have to stay tuned.

Jeanne T

FTA: "Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Ralph Northam have proposed an array of gun control laws, including universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and red flag laws that would allow the temporary removal of guns from someone who is deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others."

"Deemed to be dangerous" by whom? What is the threshold? (They don't tell us.) For example, can/should someone call the police if their neighbor or someone with whom they disagree politically posts on their Facebook page a pro-gun meme (e.g., "From my cold, dead hands") which makes them feel frightened? Would this ever happen??

Well, the answer to that question is that it did happen. The wife of a Weston, Florida city commissioner (D) sent an email to the threat assessment division of Broward County Sheriffs Office on someone with whom she had had past political disagreements, and over a week later BSO deputies in full tactical gear showed up at the man's house to question him about his social media post. He had just gotten out of the shower and was dressed only in a bath towel when he greeted them at the door. Fortunately for him, he is a well known philanthropist and a major supporter of law enforcement, so he chose to answer their questions. He asked the lead investigator if the meme broke any laws. The Sheriff's Deputy admitted that it did not break any laws. The investigator concluded that he was not a danger to anyone and gave him the police report number. (That's another story.)

Next question: Should someone who pulls a vindictive stunt like the one above face legal consequences? Because next time, someone could get killed, especially if a Swat team shows up at their house in, say, the middle of the night. Oh, wait, that's already happened, too.


Herring opens his yapper, and let's everyone know that he is an enemy of the US Constitution. If I ever need guidance on wearing blackface, then I will be sure to consult with him.

Jeanne T

Do Virginia's "sanctuary cities" protecting those who are here illegally have a "legal effect"?


There are no "sanctuary cities" in Virginia.


What about Fairfax?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.