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Buchanan County, VA
 
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Buchanan County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
[In regard to statutory references, unless the county specifically amends the statutory provisions to the contrary or repeals the statutory provisions, future amendments to said statute shall take effect as provided by law.]
[Adopted 4-7-1997]
The provisions of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia 1950, as amended, are hereby adopted by reference to be applicable to Buchanan County.
[Adopted 1-6-2020]
A. 
Title. An article, which shall be known and may be cited as "The Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance"; prohibiting material support or resources for the enforcement of federal or state acts regarding firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition; providing a severability clause; providing for publication; and establishing an effective date.
B. 
Findings. The people of Buchanan County, Virginia, find and declare:
(1) 
Acting through the United States Constitution, the people created government to be their agent in the exercise of a few defined powers, while reserving to the citizens the right to decide on matters which concern their lives, liberty, and property in the ordinary course of affairs;
(2) 
The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states: "A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed";
(3) 
The right of the people to keep and bear arms is further protected from infringement by state and local governments under the Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America and Article I, Section 13, of the Virginia State Constitution;
(4) 
The Supreme Court of the United States of America in District of Columbia v. Heller recognized the individual's right to keep and bear arms, as protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Justice Antonin Scalia's prevailing opinion in that case stated that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and the right to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home;
(5) 
Article I, Section 13, of the Constitution of Virginia states; ". . .the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed;" and that "... in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power";
(6) 
Article I, Section 2, of the Constitution of Virginia reads "that all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them";
(7) 
Justice Thomas M. Cooley in the People v. Hurlbut 24 Mich. 44, page 108 (1871), states: "The State may mold local institutions according to its views of policy or expediency: but local government is a matter of absolute right; and the state cannot take it away";
(8) 
Therefore, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental individual right that shall not be infringed; and all local, state, and federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition are a violation of the United States and Virginia Constitutions;
(9) 
Local governments have the legal authority to refuse to cooperate with state and federal firearm laws that violate those rights and to proclaim a second amendment sanctuary for law-abiding citizens in their cities and counties;
(10) 
Therefore, through the enactment of this second amendment preservation article, Buchanan County is hereby declared a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.
C. 
Prohibitions. Notwithstanding any other law, regulation, rule or order to the contrary, no agent, department, employee, law enforcement officer or official of Buchanan County, a political subdivision of the State of Virginia, while acting in their official capacity, shall:
(1) 
Knowingly and willingly, participate in any way in the enforcement of any unlawful act, as defined herein, regarding personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition; or the right to peaceful assembly and the right to recruit, organize and train a local militia made up of the citizens of Buchanan County, Virginia.
(2) 
Utilize any assets, Buchanan County funds, or funds allocated by any entity to Buchanan County, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids in the commission of an offense relating to an unlawful act in connection with personal firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition or the formation, recruitment and training of a local militia.
D. 
Violations and penalties.
(1) 
An "unlawful act" shall consist of any federal or state act, law, order, rule, or regulation, which restricts an individual's constitutional right to keep and bear arms, including any federal or state act, law, order, rule, or regulation which bans or effectively bans, registers or effectively registers, or limits the lawful use of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition (other than a fully automatic firearm which is made unlawful by federal law). Any such unlawful act is invalid in Buchanan County and shall not be recognized by Buchanan County, is specifically rejected by the voters of Buchanan County, and shall be considered null, void and of no effect in Buchanan County, Virginia, and this includes, but shall not be limited to the following:
(a) 
Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition;
(b) 
Any registration or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition;
(c) 
Any registration or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition;
(d) 
Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by citizens of the legal age of 18 and over, other than pursuant to federal law background check requirements or transfers or purchases through FFL dealers;
(e) 
Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from citizens;
(f) 
Any prohibition, regulation, and/or use restriction related to ownership or the constitutionally guaranteed lawful use or carry of non-fully automatic firearms; and
(g) 
Any prohibition, regulation, and/or use restriction limiting hand grips, stocks, flash suppressors, bayonet mounts, magazine capacity, clip capacity, internal capacity, bump stocks, suppressors, thumb hole stocks, trigger actuators, threaded barrels or types of ammunition available for sale, possession or use by citizens.
(h) 
Any prohibition, regulation or restriction on the citizens of Buchanan County, Virginia, from exercising their rights to peacefully assemble and recruit, organize and train a local militia as guaranteed pursuant to the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 13, of the Virginia State Constitution.
(i) 
Any prohibition, regulation or restriction on the citizens of Buchanan County to carry a firearm for personal protection/self-defense into a place of worship while meeting for religious purposes unless said place of worship has banned or restricted firearms from being present in said place of worship.
(2) 
Anyone within the jurisdiction of Buchanan County, Virginia, accused to be in violation of this article may be sued in the district court of the State of Virginia for declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys' fees. Neither sovereign nor official or qualified immunity shall be an affirmative defense in cases pursuant to this section.
(3) 
Any peace officer may enforce this article.
(4) 
An offense against this article shall constitute a misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $2,000 for an individual, and $4,000 for a corporation.
(5) 
Exceptions:
(a) 
The protections provided to citizens by this article do not apply to persons who have been convicted of felony crimes or who are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.
(b) 
This article is not intended to prohibit or affect in any way the prosecution of any crime for which the use of, or possession of, a firearm is an aggregating factor or enhancement to an otherwise independent crime.
(c) 
This article does not permit or otherwise allow the possession of firearms in federal buildings.
(d) 
This article does not prohibit individuals in Buchanan County from voluntarily participating in assisting in permitting, licensing, registration or other processing of applications for concealed carry permits, or other firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition licensing or registration processes that may be required by law.
E. 
Severability. The provisions of this article are hereby declared to be severable, and, if any provision of this article or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance is declared invalid for any reason, such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this article.