VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam said the second amendment sanctuary resolutions being passed in municipalities across the state, won't stop him from pursuing "common sense" gun legislation.
He said there's nothing unconstitutional about the gun reform he introduced.
“They can continue to have their meetings. They can continue to make sanctuary counties, but we’re going to continue to do what Virginians have asked us to do,” Northam said.
The sanctuaries have become a top issue across the state after Northam introduced a set of eight gun control bills in July.
The legislation came in response to the mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.
At the time, Northam called on the GOP-controlled legislature to take votes and have a dialogue.
However, the General Assembly wound up adjourning the session after 90 minutes, without considering Northam's bills.
“These individuals that are out here now at these meetings, they had a chance to come to Richmond," Northam said. "So where were you in July?”
Chesapeake City and Gloucester County passed second amendment sanctuary resolutions unanimously. Other counties and cities have passed similar resolutions.
In Virginia Beach and Suffolk, crowds packed city council to voice their support – even though it wasn’t on the agenda.
Northam said although his government has no plans to retaliate against municipalities that are passing sanctuary resolutions, there could be consequences if law enforcement isn’t enforcing the law.
“There’s not going to be retaliation, that’s not what I’m about,” Northam said. "If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws, there are going to be some consequences. But I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it."
The governor stressed, there’s nothing unconstitutional about any laws passed in the statehouse or senate.
“They say they don’t want law enforcement to enforce unconstitutional laws. Well, any law that we pass in Richmond - and the eight pieces of legislation that I put on the table back in July - they’re constitutional,” Northam said.
The governor said he’ll be reintroducing the legislation in January. He called it “common sense” gun legislation that will save lives