GREENE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Greene County is considering whether to declare itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary and heard the public’s opinion on the matter Tuesday at the Greene County Board of Supervisors meeting.
The proposal comes after Governor Ralph Northam announced he will reintroduce gun laws in January 2020’s General Assembly session.
Dozens of gun supporters packed into the administration building for the meeting and even more surrounded it outside as fellow advocates spoke in front of the board.
One of the speakers was Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith, who said it is his duty to protect the Second Amendment right.
"You promise to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” said Smith. “The Second Amendment is part of that. The people here have spoken. They want that protected and I will do everything I can to do that."
He said new gun laws can get those who don't deserve it in trouble.
"Responsible people that own guns and they shoot them, look like they shoot them, like to hunt, they should not be punished because of criminals that go around here and commit crimes with the guns," said Smith.
As soon as Virginia Democrats took over the House and Senate after the election on Nov. 5, Northam announced he will reintroduce new gun laws and he's confident they will become law.
Pete Costigan was the only person in the crowd who spoke out against making Greene County a Second Amendment Sanctuary before hearing out the new laws.
"I am not in favor of the board of supervisors supporting any Second Amendment resolution before the General Assembly has met to consider any new proposals regarding firearms, ownership, and use,” said Costigan.
Smith said becoming a sanctuary for guns will protect residents’ rights as citizens.
"It will let the government know in Richmond and in Washington that the citizens here in Greene are awake and aware of what's going on, what they're trying to pass and they don't like it,” said Smith. “They don't want any part of it. And they made that known tonight."
Members of the board seemed in favor of making Greene County a Second Amendment Sanctuary but decided to review it again at their meeting on Dec. 10 before voting.