A county in Florida is the latest in a string of local municipalities across the country to declare itself a sanctuary against unconstitutional gun control laws — but the first in Florida to do so.
Lake County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously this week to approve a resolution vowing not to enforce gun control measures that “increase the power of the Federal government far beyond that which the Constitution intended,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The resolution’s author, Lake County Commissioner Josh Blake, called out “prominent national candidates” and “authoritarian control freaks” who call for gun bans and mandatory buybacks. His statements doubtless reference comments from former Democratic presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, who said during a debate that he would confiscate AR-15s and AK-47s.
“Many Americans have been absolutely shocked to hear recent pronouncements by prominent national candidates who are vying for the presidency of the United States threatening and even outrightcalling for national gun bans on some of the most popular and commonly owned rifles in this country,” Blake said.
“Many of them … have demanded mandatory buybacks which is just a fancy way of saying we’re going to force local law enforcement to confiscate weapons — legally owned weapons — from their fellow citizens,” he said.
Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell wrote a letter saying he “fully” supports the resolution.
Lake County is just the latest county to declare itself a “sanctuary” from gun control efforts. Local governments in Illinois, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, California, and Texas have prohibited funds or resources being used to enforce gun control laws they believe are unconstitutional.
Like in Lake County, many governments have passed sanctuary resolutions in response to gun control efforts.
Effingham County, Illinois, is often credited with being the first local municipality to pass a gun-sanctuary resolution when they did so in 2018. At the time, Darrell Miller, the co-director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law, told CNN that such measures demonstrated unnecessary fear.
“Why are they fearful any gun regulation leads to some kind of confiscation? Well, I don’t know,” Miller said. “This has been a talking point for gun organizations like the National Rifle Association since the late 1970s, which is, ‘You can’t allow any kind of gun regulation because it will lead to universal civilian disarmament.’”
After O’Rourke’s comments, along with numerous proposals from Democratic candidates to ban or “buy back” firearms, the gun control lobby has been more forthright about its desire to confiscate certain types of firearms.
Politifact noted in October that O’Rourke has been asked at least twice whether he supported confiscating firearms. On both occasions, he said yes.
In one instance, CNN host Chris Cuomo asked O’Rourke, “All right, so let’s state the proposition. Are you, in fact, in favor of gun confiscation?”
“Yes, when it comes to AR-15s and AK-47s, weapons designed for use on a military battlefield. …So, when it comes to those weapons, Chris, the answer is yes,” O’Rourke replied.