The old “New Left” slogan was “What if they had a war and nobody came?” The new Right question should be: What if they passed a law and no one complied?
In Vermont, the legislature voted on three new laws about firearms. They banned concealed carry in bars and restaurants, authorized police to confiscate all guns any time they are called to a domestic dispute, and mandated that guns at home be locked up.
Of the three, authorizing the police to confiscate the guns is the most evil. As far as I know, a domestic dispute can be reported anonymously. This seems to be a way to get the police to confiscate the weapons of any couple’s home. Keep in mind: until someone is convicted in court, no one is guilty of any crime. So how can a penalty be legally inflicted on a couple on the basis of a mere complaint?
I also don’t see any point in turning every restaurant and bar into a gun free zone. Aren’t school shootings bad enough? And what is the point of keeping a firearm for home defense if you are required to lock it up? Is Vermont trying to make it safer for SWAT team members during no-knock raids on innocent residents?
But the good news here is that people don’t think they are obligated to submit to illegal laws. According to Fox News:
The head of a nationwide sheriffs’ coalition is calling on Vermont’s law enforcement officers to defy three controversial gun control measures passed by Burlington voters three weeks ago.
“Sheriffs have a constitutional duty to refuse to comply with such ordinances,” said Richard Mack, president of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. “We’re seeing sheriffs in New York oppose the Safe Act and Gov. Cuomo. If we have sheriffs in New York doing this, how much more should we have sheriffs doing it in Vermont?”
We will see if the sheriffs do their constitutional duty in Vermont, but there have been other instances of resistance besides the sheriffs in New York:
The thought that Vermont’s top law officers might publicly oppose gun restrictions isn’t a novel idea. Sheriffs in Colorado are refusing to enforce that state’s new background checks and ban on high-capacity magazines. In Connecticut, tens of thousands of residents are refusing to comply with a new state law that requires registration of guns and high-capacity magazines. In Saratoga Springs, N.Y., citizens publicly protested the state’s new SAFE Act last week by burning a thousand gun registration forms.
Hopefully, legislatures will learn that the public is not simply clay in their hands to be shaped by threats as they like. People do not consider themselves slaves and will not submit to every unconstitutional order dreamed up by the state legislature.
Since legislators don’t like appearing impotent, hopefully this will teach them to back down.