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NV – OPINION – Dangerous consequences possible for Second Amendment sanctuaries

The law enforcement officials in Nevada and elsewhere who are embracing the concept of Second Amendment sanctuaries claim to be protecting citizens’ rights and upholding the Constitution, but they’re dead wrong on both counts. And as a result, they’re putting people in harm’s way and leaving their counties vulnerable to legal action. These so-called sanctuaries are counties in a handful of states where sheriffs and other local officials have rejected their duty to uphold gun safety measures passed by state legislatures — primary examples being universal background checks and red flag laws that allow officials to confiscate guns from people who are legally declared to be a threat to themselves or others. Five Nevada counties — Humboldt, Douglas, Elko, Nye and Lyon — passed sanctuary resolutions this year after state lawmakers approved universal background checks and a red flag law. Residents of those counties largely cheered the resolutions — the people of Humboldt County even mounted a recall petition when Sheriff Mike Allen bucked the system and announced his department would enforce the red flag law. But they might not be so happy when the refusal to enforce a state law leads to someone being injured or killed, or results in a gun crime committed with a weapon obtained by someone who shouldn’t have one. At that point, not only will there be a human cost to the counties’ dereliction of duty, but there could easily be a costly legal case. That’s because the courts have determined that universal background checks and red flag laws are perfectly legal. The laws have undergone numerous challenges, all of which ended with the measures being upheld. “So these officials aren’t defending the Constitution, they’re really threatening to defy it and substitute their own personal views of what’s constitutional — and that’s in defiance of a rather robust body of court decisions,” said Eric Tirschwell, a former federal prosecutor who now serves as a director of the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.  [full article]

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