The Democratic Majority Leader of the Virginia State Senate admitted over the weekend to blocking a pay raise for Virginia sheriffs for their support of the Second Amendment sanctuary movement.
Sen. Richard “Dick” L. Saslaw told Republican Senator Bill Stanley after a floor session that the Democrats had blocked the three percent pay raise because, according to Sen. Stanley’s recollection, “they came to our committees and said that they weren’t going to enforce our laws.”
Stanley made the allegation in a Facebook post, and Saslaw admitted to the retributive move in an interview with local media.
“He didn’t lie…I said it,” Saslaw admitted. “All I said was a lot of people are upset that these people come in and say they’re not going to enforce our laws. That’s all.”
In Stanley’s original post, which has so far garnered over 20,000 shares, he recounted how his proposal to give all sheriffs a three percent pay raise was blocked by Senate Democrats. After the vote, Sen. Saslaw approached him and said, “Hey Stanley, you want to know why your sheriffs didn’t get a raise? —because they came to our committees and said that they weren’t going to enforce our laws.”
When Sen. Stanley asked which laws Saslaw was referring to, he responded, “Gun control.”
“I was shocked that the Democrats are now punishing our local Sheriff’s Departments (by eliminating a pay raise for them), for their choice to protect and defend our citizens’ Second Amendment rights,” Stanley concluded. “Democrats want to restrict a citizen’s right to protect themselves, but won’t pay our sheriffs’ deputies to protect Virginians. Hypocrisy has a name.”
Stanley also published a video of the floor debate in which the Democrats claim they blocked the raise because the budget wouldn’t allow for it. The video points out that the raise would have required the state to set aside only $9 million in the first year out of a $140 billion two-year budget. Republican Senators also noted during the debate that there is $10 million in unappropriated funds in the current year, and future years could be covered by cutting certain programs.
Virginia Sheriff Patrick McCranie was one of the sheriffs who supported the Second Amendment sanctuary movement in his county, and he argued on Facebook that the state senate could have held the raise for sheriffs while still giving one to the deputies.
“I had a strong feeling this was going to happen,” he said. “The men and women who work as deputies throughout Virginia deserved a raise. If the General Assembly wanted to leave Sheriff’s out that would have been fine. I am sorry and feel very dejected but I will never stop fighting for our men and women.”
This is unlikely to be the last retribution against Virginia sheriffs who support the Second Amendment. In December, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam threatened that there would be “consequences” if sheriffs refused to enforce gun control laws.
When asked if there would be “retaliation” for Second Amendment sanctuary sheriffs, he denied it. But he continued, “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.”