WINCHESTER — The Frederick County Board of Supervisors plans to adopt a resolution Wednesday night to oppose any law that it sees as an infringement on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The resolution is included in the board’s Consent Agenda as part of its regular meeting. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the County Administration Building at 107 N. Kent St.

“The majority of the board wanted to do something,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Charles DeHaven Jr., adding that “it’s a very basic statement for our support of the Constitution and the Second Amendment.”

The Frederick County Board of Supervisors’ proposed resolution says that certain legislation has or may be introduced in the Virginia General Assembly and the U.S. Congress that “could have the effect of infringing upon the rights of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms which is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 13 of the Constitution of Virginia.” It further states that the board is concerned about the passage of such legislation.

After the Nov. 5 election, which put Democrats in control of the state legislature, 43 of Virginia’s 95 counties have adopted “Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions” in response to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam statement that his party’s leaders will push for gun control measures. The resolutions are not legally binding, according to The Associated Press.

Efforts to pass stricter gun legislation have been prompted by multiple mass shootings around the country, including a May 31 shooting at the Virginia Beach municipal building where 13 people were killed. Some of Northam’s proposed gun legislation include more extensive background checks, only allowing one handgun purchase within a 30-day period and banning assault weapons, high capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.

The county’s resolution says the board will defend the right to bear arms “by such legal means at its disposal” including “legal action, the power to appropriate public funds, the right to petition for redress of grievances and the power to direct employees of Frederick County to refrain from conduct which would infringe upon the Constitutional rights of our citizens.”

The resolution also says it is the board’s intent to not use public funds to restrict the Second Amendment or to aid any agency in the infringement of constitutionally protected rights.

The board’s desire to make a statement affirming the rights of gun owners comes in the wake of an petition requesting Frederick County be declared a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.” As of Friday night, the petition had more than 5,000 signatures. Physical petitions are circulating at 21 local businesses. Frederick County Public Information Officer Karen Vacchio said the county’s board members received numerous calls about the matter.

Those responsible for the petitions hope for hundreds to attend Wednesday night’s board meeting to voice their thoughts.

Vacchio said consent agenda items usually pass without question.

According to Vacchio, the board was unable to relocate its meeting, as it had already advertised three public hearings would take place at the County Administration Building. In the event that hundreds of people show up to speak Wednesday night and exceed the board room’s capacity, Vacchio said the county will open up the building’s main lobby and employee lounge, where there are televisions.

“We are going to open as many spaces as we can in the building to the public,” Vacchio said. “We’ll accommodate as many people inside as we can.”

Vacchio will circulate a sign-up sheet for people wanting to speak at the meeting.

Winchester-Frederick County Democratic Committee Chairman William Fuller said he is unsure if many supporters of stricter gun legislation will show up to speak at Wednesday night’s meeting. Noting that the Board of Supervisors is entirely made up of Republicans, Fuller said efforts to speak against the resolution would likely “fall on deaf ears.” He also doesn’t think the board’s proposed resolution will have any impact.

“You can’t just decide to not obey the law,” Fuller said. “And so, I don’t think people take this action very seriously. They can pass all the resolutions they want, it isn’t going to affect the law at all. The sheriff is still going to arrest people if they break the law.”

Fuller said there is wide support for more extensive background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people “who have no business with firearms.”

Sheriff Lenny Millholland did not return The Star’s call for comment on Friday. County Attorney Roderick Williams declined to provide his opinion on if any legal issues could arise from the resolution.

— Contact Josh Janney at

(33) comments


Liberals are wrong as usual. "Well regulated" is not what you think. Look at the Old English definition.


The term was taken directly from militia statues in Rhode Island and Virginia. It means regulated by statutes. Also there were very little changes from the state militia statues in the Articles of Confederation, which required every state to regulate, maintain, fund their state militias.


Governments first obligation is to protect and defend life, which takes precedence over “the pursuit of happiness” for the few local people that think the second amendment, (form a militia and bear arms) is about their right to have useless assault weapons. I feel certain our republican supervisors will do the wrong thing and make it official that we are represented by conservative backward thinking. If and when, God forbit, we have a local mass shooting, minds will change. Remember the day that our supervisors failed us if we find ourselves laying flowers, building memorials, and having vigils, like so many other towns across America.


"When government takes away citizens' right to bear arms it becomes citizens' duty to take away government's right to govern." - George Washington



§ 44-1. Composition of militia.

The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied residents of the Commonwealth who are citizens of the United States and all other able-bodied persons resident in the Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least 16 years of age and, except as hereinafter provided, not more than 55 years of age. The militia shall be divided into three classes: the National Guard, which includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard; the Virginia Defense Force; and the unorganized militia.

The uorganized militia is the people of Frederick County. End of story. VA Code > your feeling.


I've seen one VA county re-activate their county militia system. Bravo! We need more of these brave and serious politicians to re-activate their militias.


Mr. Fuller said: “You can’t just decide to not obey the law." Then why are the state politicians violating the law, the U.S. Constitution, with gun prohibition? When this happens the county officials must keep their oaths to the U.S. Constitution by resisting violations to it. The takeaway from 2A sanctuaries are: Just because the state passes a bill doesn't make it "THE LAW." It must be in harmony with the supreme law of the land which is the Constitution.


Sheriff Lenny Millholland did not return The Star’s call for comment on Friday. Surprised? The election is over. Many voters and a gun store were very gullible when they accepted Democratic Independent Sheriff Millhollands word that he supported the 2nd amendment. Past actions of endorsing Democratic Gov. Northam and AG Mark Herring completely showed that he is a true Democrat and those voters will have up to 4 years of regret for their vote that narrowly re-elected Millholland. Voters should try to hold him accountable for his statements and past endorsements. Remember a Sheriff has to be honest. LOL


Awww, is someone still sad because Daddy's candidate lost...again? It's okay little one, scurry back to Key West with your Mama, I'm sure daddy will be along right after he moves out of Al's basement.


I am glad you used that moniker as it fits you. I sincerely hope you are not one of Lennys Investigators or FC Voters would be in even more trouble. When you see him in the hallway tell him his appearance is requested at the FC BOS meeting to give his views on the 2A issue like the Page and Shen. Co. Sheriff did. Remember a Sheriff has to be honest.

Spock Here

"Keeping government tyranny from subjugating its citizens" was fine when it was musket to musket. But, hello....the government has better weapons than its citizens, like nukes and tanks and missiles oh my! All I can see with this misplaced fervor is something akin to "thinning the herd." But, do continue....


Vietnam, Afghanistan, British Mandate, Algeria, Rhodesia....governments always have the better weapons. What is your point?


So the Democratic Party head said this. ““You can’t just decide to not obey the law,” Fuller said. “And so, I don’t think people take this action very seriously. They can pass all the resolutions they want, it isn’t going to affect the law at all. The sheriff is still going to arrest people if they break the law.”. what about all these counties, cities and states that said they will not enforce immigration laws. Well Mr. Fuller which is it? Only the laws the Democrats like do not need to be followed?

Joe Crane

To SLOW: The Founders adopted the Second Amendment for ONE reason: to defend against a tyrannical government. Maybe you should get with the times and study every USSC ruling with regard to The People's Second Amendment. Don't like guns? Move to a country with no Bill of Rights.


Our sheriff really blindsided the citizens of Frederick County to pretend that he was somewhat moderate and cared about our Second Amendment rights. After he was elected he answered many questions and his response was that he would enforce the laws of the Commonwealth including the new ones. He went on the lab right about it being tied up in court for years but that’s not the point he said he would defend the Second Amendment and he has not and will not. His statement was that a sheriff is honest and trustworthy.

Now back to the article, I have a feeling there’s gonna be more than hundreds of people there. Shenandoah county had over 2000...

Joe Crane

The question isn't the BOS statement to support the Second Amendment, it is what will the Sheriff do?

Four years ago I hosted a debate between the three candidates for Sheriff. Two of the three swore to defend the Second Amendment. Sheriff Millholland danced around the question and never gave a solid answer.

So the question to you Sheriff is this: Will you support the Board of Supervisor's statement of support for the Second Amendment or, will you support and assist with the confiscation of our guns and the diminishing of the citizen's right to bear arms in accordance with the Bill of Rights?


He replied to several emails stating that he won’t force the laws of the Commonwealth and someone stated that he said that over half the people support and over half the people don’t support the new gun laws which I don’t know where he’s getting that to sadistic and less he’s using his voting results. If he thinks people voted for him because of gun laws he’s mistaken. He Hid behind a fake Personna of independent when in fact he was a Democrat and knew he couldn’t get elected otherwise in a largely Republican county


I am proud that our county will join our sister counties of the Commonwealth in standing up for our Constitutional rights.


The supervisors were the first people to say that they had to ditch protection for LGBTQ+ employees against discrimination because Va had no such law and they couldn't violate the Dillon rule. But I guess when it's something they actually care about, they're willing to try to subvert the law of the state. Guns are more important to them than protecting innocent people from discrimination. Sickening, really.

Mr Incredible

Probably because the "right" to be gay isn't in the Constitution. The right to bear arms is.


Register the gays not handguns!


How's Karl?


These all are reasonable and needed changes to the law: more extensive background checks, only allowing one handgun purchase within a 30-day period and banning assault weapons, high capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers.

People are going crazy, inciting rebellion against the law over their precious guns. Get a grip. Be reasonable. Go Join a “Well regulated militia” if you want to be surrounded by guns.


Thank you Frederick County for protecting our constitutional rights and sending a message to gun hating governor !


"Reasonable, needed changes" and other seemingly innocuous words are often wielded by leftists (who are anything but reasonable) to take away Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of the people. That's what I see here from you. Meanwhile, leftists conjure up fictitious rights (such as abortion) to support their own constituency like Planned Parenthood who kill far more people than guns in Virginia. So, please excuse us "clingers" for holding on to our freedoms a little longer. They were written into the Constitutional Amendments specifically against people who think like you; those who would subjugate the public to servitude to a tyrannical State.


Like at Pearl Harbor or Pensacola?

Mr Incredible

You misunderstand that statement, like you misunderstand many things. "A well regulated Militia, (that's US, the people) being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

People were the militia until the National Guard was formed. But it was clearly the intent of the Founders that the citizens have arms


To Mr. Incredible: becasue the government , back then, had no arms to give them so they had to depend on the soldier's ow personal arms to fight. Those days are long gone and over. A well regulated militia , like you say, the National Guard, or een the police, are will armed and equipped and no longer need to rely on personal weapons to form a force. If citizens have the right to have weapons, it would be for personal use/protection, sport , like hunting. None of the proposed regulations prevent that if you are considered of sound mind and not a criminal. So. I still hope, in my understanding of that line, that these regulations are adopted, and enforced.


Well if that’s the case then your first amendment rights shouldn’t apply to anything other than speech and printed newspapers. Two can play that game

Mr Incredible

The point of the matter is that at the time, the people made up the militia, and therefore had guns, The Framers knew everyone had guns anyway to hunt and for personal protection. Having a gun back then was like people having cars today. They were needed for your way of life. (BTW, cars kill far more people per year than guns, so are we banning those as well?). They also feared a standing army, controlled by the government, so they made sure the peoples right to bear arms was not infringed upon, so that if one day (Like now) if the government decided to start taking your freedoms, that you could tell the government to go to he!!, at the end of a barrel if necessary.

Joe Crane

That isn't correct. Read the Federalist Papers. The "militia" was separate and apart from the NG or any formed military unit and it depended upon the citizen to bring and carry his personal weapon.


To Crane. Like I said, those day are long gone, Things have changed. WE no longer depend or expect or even ALLOW a citizen to bring along his personal weapon to be a member of our “well regulated militia”. So. Get with the times. Personal weapons are not need, or allowed in a well regulated militia.


Hey, slowe, I bet Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and other gun grabbers all said "Get with the times!" in some form or fashion.

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