US Politics

Virginia Lawmakers Shoot Down Sheriff Pay Raise Amid Gun Control Debate

The gun debate in Virginia took another turn after a Republican state senator said he was told that his attempt to pass an amendment to giving the states sheriff departments a 3 percent raise failed because of opposition by some sheriffs to Gov. Ralph Northams anti-gun agenda.

When Sen. William Stanley on Feb. 20 had tried to amend the state budget with the wage increase, it was defeated—with every Democrat voting against it. Stanley alleged that after the vote, he was approached by Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw, a Democrat.

“Hey Stanley, you want to know why your sheriffs didnt get a raise? Because they came to our committees and said that they werent going to enforce our laws,” Saslaw said.

Stanley said he asked Saslaw which particular legislation he was alluding to, in which the majority leader responded, “gun control.”

Saslaws remark was an apparent reference to Second Amendment sanctuaries, a growing movement in which local officials and some sheriffs generally state that they wont follow new gun laws they believe are unconstitutional. In Virginia, 91 of the states 95 counties have passed some sort of measure affirming their support for Second Amendment sanctuaries.

“I was shocked that the Democrats are now punishing our local Sheriffs Departments (by eliminating a pay raise for them), for their choice to protect and defend our citizens Second Amendment rights,” Stanley wrote in a now-viral Facebook post following the incident.

“Democrats want to restrict a citizens right to protect themselves, but wont pay our sheriffs deputies to protect Virginians,” Stanley continued. “Hypocrisy has a name.”

Saslaw didnt immediately respond to The Epoch Times request for comment, but he told CBS 6 he did say those words.

“All I said was a lot of people are upset that these people come in and say theyre not going to enforce my laws,” he told the network. “Thats all.”

David Campbell, vice chairman of the Effingham County Board in Illinois, told The Epoch Times he sees the incident as a “direct attack on Virginias sheriffs.”

“All representatives and senators take the same oath of office as the sheriffs do,” he said via email. “The sheriffs are only doing their job and what they were sworn to do, and that is to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.”

A handful of gun control bills have advanced swiftly through Virginias state legislature in recent weeks and could be passed in the coming days. Those bills include limiting handgun purchases to one per month, universal background checks on gun purchases, allowing localities to ban guns in public buildings, parks, and other areas, and a “red flag” bill that would allow authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from anyone deemed by a judge to be dangerous to themselves or others.

The Senate version of the state budget included a one-time, $200 bonus for sheriffs departments during the first year and a 3 percent increase in the second year, Read More – Source

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The Epoch Times

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