Leaders of the Old West desert town of Needles, California have declared it to be a sanctuary city for the 2nd Amendment and have planned to resist some of the state’s draconian gun laws, which they assert impinges upon their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
On June 11th, Needles’ city council voted unanimously to make the declaration. Although it has been reported that the declaration will have “no immediate practical impact on how guns are treated in the city,” city attorneys are drafting legislation to permit individuals with out-of-state concealed carry permits to carry legally in the city and to exempt the city from ammunition restrictions, according to a report by the Associated Press.
“They want to pick and choose what they follow,” Needles City Councilman Tim Terral told AP reporters, adding “It’s ‘We’re going to shield this person, but we’re going to go after that person.’ And in our opinion they have violated the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution in many ways.”
Needles is a small town in the Mojave Desert that’s inhabited by 4,844 residents. It’s perhaps best for being featured in John Steinbeck’s acclaimed novel The Grapes of Wrath. But now, the town is making headlines for its dissident stance on California’s overreaching gun laws.
“While we recognize that all lawful gun owners are responsible for ensuring they are compliant with state and federal gun laws, we also recognize that the State of California cannot adopt laws that impair the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment,” Mayor Jeff Williams told reporters at the Associated Press.
City Councilman Tim Terral, the sponsor of the legislation, has said that he was motivated by friends in neighboring Arizona who’ve mentioned avoiding coming to Needles because of California gun laws.
Terral told reporters, “I’m asking them, ‘Why won’t you come to a barbecue at my house? Or, why won’t you come out here and buy X, Y or Z because we can sell it cheaper…They said basically it’s because we’re not going to disarm ourselves, and California won’t accept our concealed weapons permits.”
The state of California only recognizes conceal carry permits that they themselves issue, which means that gun owners from other states in the country have to disarm while visiting, or risk arrest.
California knows all too well about the term “Sanctuary City,” but in this case, the phrase is referring to something quite different. A jaw-dropping twenty counties in California call themselves sanctuary cities for illegal aliens. Some of those counties have larger populations than certain states in the union, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Needles isn’t the only city to declare itself a Second Amendment sanctuary city. Cities in Washington state, Rhode Island, and New Mexico have taken similar actions to protect the Second Amendment against ever encroaching gun laws.