Citizens packed the Culpeper Board of Supervisors morning meeting Tuesday for a hot topic discussion on an adopted resolution declaring the locality a Second Amendment Constitutional County.

Many donned bright orange stickers reading, “Guns save lives,” and the local sheriff vowed to deputize scores of residents, if necessary, to push back on potential state-imposed gun restrictions.

The seven-member elected Culpeper County Board unanimously passed the resolution, joining a growing number of localities doing so in reaction to expected gun control legislation in the now Democratic-controlled Virginia General Assembly.

“All my adult life, in the military and in local government, I’ve sworn to uphold the Constitution and I’ll be damned if any politician down in Richmond or anywhere else is going to get me to change my mind,” said Supervisor Bill Chase, a Vietnam veteran.

The overflow audience in attendance erupted in applause at this statement as Chase invited Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins to the podium to share his thoughts on the Second Amendment.

“The right to bear arms—some believe that the Second Amendment gives us that right, when in fact it’s a God-given right. If you don’t believe in God, it’s a law of nature that every creature can defend their lives from threats,” Jenkins said.

The sheriff, elected in November to a third term in office, said he would not violate his oath of office by declining to enforce new gun laws, but asserted he was prepared to act otherwise.

“If the legislature decides to restrict certain weapons I feel harms our community, I will swear in thousands of auxiliary deputies in Culpeper,” Jenkins said. “There’s no limit to the number of people I can swear in.” The sheriff added, “Personally, I don’t think some of the bills that are proposed will pass, I don’t think we’re that far left in Virginia.”

Jenkins said thousands of Culpeper citizens hold concealed carry permits, including for guns with large capacity ammunition magazines, an issue that could see attempts at legislative restriction next year. He quoted Founding Father Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, in further emphasizing his point: “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves and include all men capable of bearing arms.”

Jenkins said it was “ridiculous” and “insane” to restrict magazine capacity, and so are attempts to punish the majority for the evil deeds of a few.

“You can create just as much harm and death in a school with an environment of an active shooter with a shot gun in five or 10 minutes as you could with most other weapons,” he said.

Culpeper County Supervisor Sue Hansohn, in supporting the resolution, said she wished the General Assembly would focus on mental health, “the deeper problems,” behind societal gun violence, she said.

“The state closed its institutions, sent them all back to the community. There are no treatment centers here. So I’m asking that the General Assembly stop this crap they are doing and look at the underlying issue which is mental health,” Hansohn said, receiving applause.

Supervisor Jack Frazier added his strong support for the resolution “as a first step in protecting our constitutional rights.”

“I am hoping that by standing by our neighboring counties that this will send a message to our governor, legislators and the folks in Richmond that the people of Culpeper County know best as to how we can protect ourselves and our families,” he said.

In recent days, Madison and Rappahannock counties adopted similar resolutions, and Orange County was expected to take action on it Tuesday night. It was Frazier who suggested calling Culpeper “a constitutional county” versus a “sanctuary county” as others have adopted, to differentiate the resolution from terminology used for sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants.

County Attorney Bobbi Jo Alexis drafted the two-page resolution that states, in part, “The Board of Supervisors implores the Virginia General Assembly, the United States Congress and other agencies of the commonwealth of Virginia and the United States government to preserve, uphold and protect the rights of the citizens to keep and bear arms under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States by rejecting any provision, law or regulation that may infringe, have the tendency to infringe or place any additional burdens on the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.”

Culpeper County Board Chairman Brad Rosenberger directed the resolution be drafted after numerous citizens contacted him about it in recent weeks. He called the end product, “a tremendous resolution, a very strong resolution, it says what we need to say.”

Retired from the U.S. Navy, resident Charles Evering was among those in attendance Monday supporting the measure. He said he came out in defense of his God-given and constitutional rights to bear arms, adding he felt such rights were very much under threat.

“When I see bills being introduced to the House of Representatives in Richmond that you can’t even train your kids on how to use a gun, that’s a little much. I’m just bound and determined that they’re not going to take my rights away,” said Evering, noting he’s been a gun owner for 50 years.

He called the resolution adopted Tuesday a start, but not all that needed to be done.

“The ultimate end for me is for the governor to realize that we got people out here that think different than he does and he ought to read the Constitution and realize that when he took his oath of office it meant to defend that Constitution, not tear it apart,” Evering said.

Not everyone in Culpeper agreed with the resolution, and members of the Culpeper Democratic Committee planned to speak against it at Tuesday’s night meeting. Reva resident Donna DeAngelis, with the Culpeper Persisters, provided an advance copy of her comments to a Washington, D.C. news station.

“As a citizen of Culpeper County, I ask that you not support a resolution that would sanction gun violence,” she stated. “It is time that common sense prevails and we all unite behind reasonably regulated, responsible, safe gun ownership.”

DeAngelis expressed support for reinstating a ban on multi-round assault-style weapons and for universal background checks, which according to most polls, she said, most Americans support.

“Our forefathers in all of our wisdom could not have predicted what a single-shot musket would become almost 250 years later,” she said.

In a recent statement, local Del. Michael Webert, R-Marshall, expressed his support for the gun resolutions.

“As most of you are aware, the Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions are not legally binding. However, it is vital to send a strong message to Richmond that we, law-abiding citizens, will not be treated like criminals because we possess certain types of firearms and firearm accessories,” he said.

Webert said he and his colleagues were working on a bill to protect counties that have passed Second Amendment resolutions so the state won’t withhold funding from the localities because of the designation.

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(8) comments

Mike Jones

Sheriff Jenkins, if you're reading this, please know that your courage is absolutley contagious, and you've inspired me greatly tonight.

We are praying about moving the business and family to your county and supporting you in any way possible.

People of Culpepper, this man has stuck his neck out on the line for you because he clearly is principled, and cares more about his moral compass then politics.

Tipping my hat to you tonight Sheriff Jenkins.

Mike Jones

I can not begin to describe how absolutley hopeful this article has made me feel tonight. I am not a resident of Culpeper County, I currently live in Loudoun County, with a thriving small business that is in Frederick County.

Sheriff Jenkins words, and his courageous leadership on this issue have really got me and my wife thinking about moving our business and family to Culpepper County.

This is the type of leader, and protector that my wife and I are yearning for. Sheriff Jenkins is a noble and fearless leader who I would absolutely charge up any hill with.

Christopher Droze

TO all who read this.. This comment says it all "Webert said he and his colleagues were working on a bill to protect counties that have passed Second Amendment resolutions so the state won’t withhold funding from the localities because of the designation."

The States are supposed to be sovereign and responsible for their budgets, roads, education etc. The Federal government was ONLY to make sure the States adhered to the Constitution and that all human rights were protected. When the Fed started to offer $$$$ to the states, but with the string attached (We'll give you lotsa $$ but ONLY if you pass laws we want passed and enforce our Federal policies). SO that too me is bribery. Pure and simple. This is where the corruption started and why we're having this sad situation where we would lose another God given/Human right. God granted no human with power over another. With the 2nd, we are all equal at least in defending ourselves. Authority does not exist, at this point it is represented by bullies and law enforcement revenue collectors... As for our justice system, "See Above"...

David Reuther

We should be concerned that Sheriff Jenkins doesn't know the difference between the Constitution of the United States and the Ten Commandments. It is the Ten Commandments that is "God-given" and they don't say anything about guns. The Sixth Commandment does intone "you should not murder." The Constitution was written by men. In no history book does a list of the Founding Fathers include God. Sheriff Jenkins is a professional peace officer sworn to uphold the Constitution. The thought that he would toss aside his responsibilities to the Constitution is disturbing. He is one of the community's leaders whom we should all respect as a protector of the basic rights the Constitution guarantees. Rev Harris who spoke last night is better positioned to advise us on our responsibilities to the Ten Commandments.

BILL LAWRENCE

OH!! Pretending to care about the Constitution now, are you? GREAT!! Now, guess what? You don't know it so I will tell you. The Constitution guarantees our right to "Keep and bear arms"! Whether it comes from God of the founders and authors of the Constitution, IT'S IN THERE! And we WILL NOT allow the screaming howler monkeys, the criminal psychopaths that have seized control of the democrat party to take that away!

MICHAEL MCCLARY

Wee Willie Lawrence -- the living epitome of a howler monkey.

Vicki Jenkins

I think you misread our Sheriffs comments. He did not say that the Constitution was "god-given". Your comment appears to be an attempt to criticize his leadership when in my opinion, your comment made you appear arrogant and was obviously meant to be insulting instead of meaningful.

The notion of God-given rights shouldn’t be controversial. It is a bedrock of the American creed, written into the Declaration of Independence. It’s preamble says, of course, that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Usually no one bats an eyelash at rhetoric based on this formulation. In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said “the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forbears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

The Bill of Rights puts flesh on the bones of those “unalienable rights” of life and liberty, and numbers “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” among them.

Why? Because the founders believed, rightly, that everyone has an inherent right to self-defense.

Jenny Lloyd

Keep on keeping on Culpeper, THANK YOU TO CULPEPER CITIZENS FIR USING COMMONSENSE, proud to be In "Constitutional Culpeper" 👏👏

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