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Culture War Roundup for the week of January 1, 2024

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Hawaii v Heller

The Hawaii Firearms Coalition claims:

A recent change in Hawaii law that goes into effect in January requires instructors to be certified or verified by the county police department is being used to ignore the constitutional rights of Hawaii citizens. Despite having more than 5 months to set up a process, Honolulu and the other counties took no action until now. Due to inaction or incompetence, this lack of a process means that Hawaiian citizens could be left with no legal method to obtain firearms for weeks or months after the law goes into effect.

The recent decision by Police Chief Logan to require people to be certified by nonexistent instructors means that NO ONE can purchase a handgun or rifle until after he holds a public meeting to change his previous rules to reflect the new state law. The chief has a meeting scheduled for January 9th and then must wait for the mayor to sign his rules before they go into effect. This means that until then, he has no legal process to verify or certify instructors.

  • UPDATE - Honolulu police contacted me and said that they are interpreting the new law to give them 40 days to process applications. They say that this is enough time to certify instructors and to get those instructors to teach people that have previously applied trained.

The specific statute is here, with the most relevant components being :

no permit shall be issued to an applicant earlier than fourteen calendar days after the date of the application; provided that a permit shall be issued or the application denied before the fortieth day from the date of application.

Note that this is a permit to acquire; the permit to carry involves different timelines and different requirements. There's some lack of clarity here -- where HFC claims that the police stopped accepting applications on the 18th of December, the police claim that they're accepting applications and will only require the training certification when people pick up a permit. It's possible, if not especially unlikely, that the permit training process will be resolved in a reasonable timeframe, to plausibly fair ends, but if the Honolulu Police genuinely were still accepting permit applications on the 18th, their best-case timeline to meet statutory requirements has less than a week between .

There are various other issues with this statute -- like other jursdictions, Hawaii's law defies 'complies with' Heller and Bruen by changing "good cause" requirements to a "good character" one (requiring denial of a permit "if the issuing authority determines that issuance would not be in the interest of public health, safety, or welfare because the person lacks the essential character or temperament necessary"); it demands permitee applicants provide the police open access to their mental health records; it removed external validation of training courses (before this law, the NRA could certify instructors). And there's the general dissolution of trust, when gun nuts have long cited concerns that training requirements would be used to throttle or delay lawful gun ownership, and it just so happens to not be a priority for five months after the law itself was an emergency.

But the timeline provides a clearer problem of justiciability. As Illinois and New Mexico recently demonstrated, the courts are not particularly willing to step in early, but here it's not particularly clear how the courts would do so. By leaving the "certified or verified firearms instructor" up to local police, nearly-any challenge can be instantly mooted or otherwise have its factual underpinning pulled away with no more than a minute's effort, only to be upset again later (not even necessarily by bad action by the police, if only a few trainers sign up to start with!). And a court not willing to could leave this catch-22 in place for months, if not years.

Well, at least that's a one-off, and Hawaii's long been a basket case so-

California vs. Carry Permittees

In response to Bruen, California pass SB2 on September 26th, to take force on January 1st of the new year. Among many other restrictions, the law overhauled concealed carry within the state, including where a permittee could lawfully carry. Politicians supporting the law stated, both in press conferences and during the resulting lawsuits, that about the only place permittees could lawfully carry after the law passed would be a public streets and sidewalks, and that's actually a little more broad than the actual text of the law allows. There's been a few California-side gunnies who've videoed long and non-exclusive lists of behaviors that the law bans, though unfortunately I haven't seen any set to the Animaniacs country song (yet).

On December 20th a district court judge enjoined the law's enforcement, in a biting order that focused mostly on the restrictions on the right to bear arms, but didn't stop from noticing where the law was also often just built to make compliance difficult if not impossible, for example, that:

Notably, this provision poses a practical problem since a person may not approach the business with their firearm to get close enough to see the four-by-six-inch sign Section 26230(a)(26) requires without violating the statute.

This decision was, unsurprisingly, appealed along with a request for a stay, allowing the law to go into effect. On December 30th, an administrative stay was granted, and the "stay pending appeal, and the supplements, responses and replies thereto, are otherwise referred to the panel assigned to decide the merits of these appeals".

It's not clear if a merits panel has even been assigned, as of January 4th.

What happens next will depend very heavily on that merits panel. Traditionally, the calculations for a stay pending appeal would strongly favor blocking a law that hasn't yet come into play. But a number of justices at the 9th Circuit have a long history of both antipathy toward the Second Amendment and willingness to buck SCOTUS dicta; while I'm not going to say that a sizable number would never block enforcement of a gun control law, I've already winked suggestively. There are also non-trivial reasons to suspect the odds of a favorable merits panel to not be quite as simple as a dice-roll.

And the longer the statute has been allowed to apply -- four days already! -- the easier is it to imagine this becoming the new status quo.

Well, at least it's easier to get a permit, even if you can't do anything with it-

California vs. Carry Permit

Over the holidays, California DoJ also issued a intering emergency rule-making package. Among a wide variety of other regulatory changes, the process submits a new BOF 1034 CCW Program DOJ Certifed Instructor Application, which among other requirements demands application attach a copy of a certification from :

  • Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California - Firearm Training Instructor
  • Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, State of California - Firearm Instructor or Rangemaster
  • Authorization from a State of California accredited school to teach a firearms training course

And a shooting course qualification from one of :

  • Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California - Firearm Training Instructor
  • Federal Government, Certified Rangemaster or Firearm Instructor
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Firearm Instructor Training Program or Rangemaster
  • United States Military, Occupational Specialty (MOS) as marksmanship or firearms instructor
  • Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, State of California - Firearm Instructor or Rangemaster
  • Authorization from a State of California accredited school to teach a firearms training course

At least from a casual read, this looks to be in explicit conflict with relevant California statutes, which also include the Civilian Marksmanship Program and NRA. It's also... not especially clear if any of these programs exist and are available to normal people: of the few that aren't explicitly tied to law enforcement or military training, like the State of California accredited school firearms training course, are still mostly law-enforcement-focused. ((I also wonder how well California's administrative notice law is being served by a notice for rule-making that was only open between December 22nd and December 27th.))

At a deeper level, though, it's a near fulfillment of long-standing gunnie fears that training requirements could be leveraged into otherwise-controversial restrictions. It's hard to take the requirements as seriously focused on preventing harm. Perhaps there's some argument about applied evenly-

New Mexico

KOB4 reports:

An organization known for its gun buyback events is under investigation. It comes after the group dismantled guns over the weekend. San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari says he’s trying to find out whether or not the gun buyback events New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence does are legal. He said the investigation comes after community members reached out to him with that question.

“I’m still not understanding how these transactions are taking place without a background check,” San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari said.

It’s all centered around a New Mexico law that says the sale of a firearm without a background check is unlawful. There are a few exceptions to the law, but Ferrari says he doesn’t know how the nonprofit falls into the mix.... New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence actually helped pass that law. The group’s co-President Miranda Viscoli explained the difference between what the group did last weekend versus what she says would be unlawful.

Further posts from the group make very clear this is almost certainly in violation of both New Mexico's new laws, but also long-present federal ones, sometimes in hilarious ways, and that the NMPGV knew those rules.

These laws often stupid, especially in this context! Officially, a local sheriff has opened an investigation, but realistically, nothing's going to happen here but some egg on some faces. Yes, it's the sort of illegal that gets federal agents to shoot your dog and son and wife if they need to pump up their rookie numbers, but not the sort of illegal that those agents treat seriously. After all, going after political allies "would not promote public safety".

I don’t agree with forcing expansive gun rights on liberal states whose electorates have clearly rejected them.

Complain legitimately about the way in which red states had progressive politics forced upon them (in some cases at gunpoint). And by all means advocate the federal government enforcing policy on the states when it comes to borders, immigration, foreign policy and (actual) interstate commerce, as conservatives rightly do in the first two cases.

But I see no reason why conservative gun owners must force the population of Hawaii to accept a law which both doesn’t affect the gun policy of conservative states and is transparently deeply unpopular there. Similarly, I’d find it wrong if and when a progressive Supreme Court limited gun ownership rights in a conservative state.

It doesn’t seem bad if Texas is the Wild West and Hawaii is East Asia when it comes to gun policy. Conservatives still have plenty of places to live. Regional differences in view on permissiveness around vices, weapon ownership, abortion and so on are part of the normal tapestry of life in countries with hundreds of millions of people.

It's literally the text of the second Amendment, "keep and bear arms"

If you don't think the constitution should restrain state governments your problem isn't with the Conservatives or even the Second Amendment... Your problem is with the 14th Amendment and the Entire idea the constitution restrains states internal self-governance and regulation...

In which case I sort of agree, the federal government had no constitutional authority to end Jim Crow, or invade the south and end slavery... And every single Founding Father would be horrified by the prospect of either.

But Unless you're will to go that far and say the Constitution does not and should not restrain states with regards to anti-discrimination or any other federal right (which there is a good case 14th wasn't properly ratified)

Then the Second Amendment is going to apply at the most core level. The right to keep and bear firearms is a more central constitutional right than the right to vote. If you want to make 2A a matter of state's discretion, then Amendments 3-27 have to go first.

I don’t agree with forcing expansive gun rights on liberal states whose electorates have clearly rejected them.

I completely agree, but as a matter of process it seems absurd to just ignore the parts of the constitution you don't like. If you want different states to be able to democratically set their own gun policies seems like step 1 should be repealing the 2nd amendment.

Even if you just stick to gun issues it doesn't hold -- Texans might be OK keeping their nose out of Hawaii, in exchange for local regulation of things like machine gun stamps/silencers -- but this is manifestly not on the table. States' rights is not the issue here, even less so than it was in the Civil War -- anti-gunners will grasp for tools of convenience, whether at the federal or state level. (and note well the pattern of introducing such things in blue states and then using them as precedent to justify slowly creeping them over towards the Red ones whenever the dice come up with the Democrats in power at the state level)

You can't make a principled legal argument for this, it's power and ideology all the way down.

I don't disagree with you, I would simply note that Texas is currently being forced to accept more people showing up at their borders than are actually being born in the entire United States. Progressives have no intention of allowing conservative states to set their own policies and turnabout is fair play.

I'm sorry if this is overly tribal, but I will take progressive whining about permissive firearms policies being forced on them contrary to the will of the voters when they stop explicitly advocating for the south to be under a different regulatory regime with fewer states' rights.

Texas is currently being forced to accept more people showing up at their borders than are actually being born in the entire United States

While I agree with the spirit of your point, I don't think the above specifically is accurate. I see 3.7M births/year for the country, vs 1.8 M total population of illegal immigrants. The rate of "border encounters" appears to be 150-250k/month = 1.8-3M/year, but that's for the whole country.

And, while "border encounters" is technically in line with your phrase of "people showing up at their borders," the more reasonable comparison is to people actually net staying here. That must must be far lower, unless the illegal immigrant population was zero until about six months ago, which it wasn't, which makes the point feel weaker.

That is the illegal immigrant population for Texas only, and is from 2019...before the current swell.

Oh wow, source? My prior is "immigration (both rate and total) is large and bad", fwiw - I'd enjoy having solid stats.

I'm just looking at your source.

CIS has the total illegal pop in the us at 11.3 Million.

https://cis.org/Report/Estimating-Illegal-Immigrant-Population-Using-Current-Population-Survey

Pew has an older figure that had it at 10.5

https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/11/16/what-we-know-about-unauthorized-immigrants-living-in-the-us/

And one might suspect that this is why the Democrats as a party are so opposed to voter id and various other flavors of "election integrity" law. Lord forbid we require proof of citizenship to vote, a documented chain of custody for ballots, and observers from both parties in the counting room.

There's some interesting philosophical questions about the proper role for federalism in regards to specific rights, but in addition to arguments of past performance that others have already mentioned, there's actually still a pretty sizable number of things that are currently happening.

Hawaii and California have both recently enacted laws enabling the sort of interstate lawfare against gun industry members that I predicted two years ago due to the SCOTUS punt on Remington v Soto, with HB 426 and AB1594, respectively, and they're not exactly alone (I'm familiar with at least New Jersey, New York, and Delaware). Even places without legislative changes to allow such liability have had courts retroactively discover them in long-extent laws, such as Gustafson in Pennsylvania.

Or see the recent legislative efforts which have mandated more and more restriction, including near-complete bans on purchase by under-21s. Or the regulatory action to leave hobbyist gunsmithing and private manufacturing, or to make operating as a firearms merchant more difficult. Or the lawsuits that have (generally successfully) sought to enjoin any attempts at Second Amendment Sanctuary laws.

I bring these not as examples of 'oh, they did it first', or even to highlight what the progressives would need to give up for a return to federalism to have a chance, but because that's a large part of the "why conservatives gun owners must force". They have a model that many of these states have anti-gun populations not out of the natural evolution of positions, or normal distributions of normal beliefs, but because law and policy have been trying to smother the development of any interests in the disliked fields, and to Curley out those who cared about those matters -- and that the progressive movements are both willing and eager to do the same to other states.

But I see no reason why conservative gun owners must force the population of Hawaii to accept a law which both doesn’t affect the gun policy of conservative states and is transparently deeply unpopular there.

This argument conclusively fell through about 1860. One population in a group of states decided that the other population in a different group of states was not allowed to have the laws their electorates broadly supported, so they formed a massive mob and... well, you know the rest.

The compromise (if you can call it that), hashed out as soon the average judge sitting on the Supreme Court had no living memory of that event (they would have been unlikely to have even been born to parents who had participated in it, and even if they did those parents would all have been dead by then), was formalizing this new way. (They would then proceed to give the Federal government everything it wanted- from "anti-war speech is like shouting fire in a crowded theater" to "growing your own crops is interstate commerce"- in the years to come.)

However, because this compromise is couched in the language of "enforcing the constitution", conservatives had a valid point in that incorporation should naturally include the whole thing (not just the parts progressive states like), and 2A happened to get incorporated just as the initial massive Federal government power grabs were passing out of living memory. That probably isn't a coincidence.

All that said, the steelman for incorporation is that it broadly limits how hard a society in a particular State is allowed to entrench its regional brand of corruption/bullshit if the balance of power tilts hard enough one way or the other (so one-party states like California, while powerful, aren't allowed to completely destroy the culture of everyone else unfortunate enough to live there by outright banning and confiscating them). In turn, it also serves as a way to keep State borders stable (i.e. not bisecting California into San Angeles and Greater Nevada) and it's done a good job of that so far.

This argument conclusively fell through about 1860. One population in a group of states decided that the other population in a different group of states was not allowed to have the laws their electorates broadly supported, so they formed a massive mob and... well, you know the rest.

1860?

Dred Scott happened in 1857...

I don’t agree with forcing expansive gun rights on liberal states whose electorates have clearly rejected them.

Too bad. The 14th Amendment incorporated rights throughout the states and arms rights are constitutional rights. Perhaps incorporation was a bad idea, but it's an old one that is clear and obvious to all. Personally, I would be willing to take a live and let live approach where different states can have different rules and that's OK, but that ship sailed at least a century ago.

I don’t agree with forcing expansive gun rights on liberal states whose electorates have clearly rejected them.

Fine. Then Kim Davis gets her job back, all lawsuits dismissed, and gay marriage only exists in gay-friendly states. Otherwise, none of this "Federalism for thee but not for me stuff". Particularly since unlike gay marriage, gun rights are in the Constitution.

Yes exactly, why would any of that be wrong?

That would be wrong because- I apologize if this is overly tribal- why does it always have to be my side that unilaterally disarms as a show of faith? Allow Louisiana the death penalty for pedophilia again, and then we'll talk.

And I think that's the crux of the matter, really. I do not trust progressive politicians(or any politicians, but especially progressive ones), and the latent fear that they seemingly all have of the AR-15 owners of America all coming for them, personally, helps me sleep at night. Under a regime I fully trusted I would have no qualms about Czechia-like gun control, or maybe even France-like if they can get street crime under control(more and I would bitch about unnecessary bureaucracy). I fully believe that, given I have to be ruled by people who suspended civil rights over a glorified flu, that giving up my guns would just result in a brutal authoritarian regime casting me and mine under cagotage. Is this a rational belief? Don't know, don't care. When progressives disarm first I'll think about that question seriously.

That would be wrong because- I apologize if this is overly tribal- why does it always have to be my side that unilaterally disarms as a show of faith?

It doesn't, and I routinely would encourage my progressive friends (back when I had them) to do the same. But at the end of the day someone has to take the first step, and neither side trusts the other to reciprocate. So unless you're prepared to accept perpetual animosity between you and your political enemies, you should try to find ways to show good faith where possible.

So unless you're prepared to accept perpetual animosity between you and your political enemies,

My political enemies have demonstrated, to my satisfaction, that they will hold perpetual animosity against me and mine, and so I'm pretty much ready to return the favor. What then?

Then, you should probably refrain from letting your anger rule your decision making. The rest of us don't particularly care to watch the political crossfire continue to destroy the country.

  • -11

Please be more careful and specify for whom you’re speaking.

The rest of us

Who is "us"? This sounds like consensus-building/speaking-for-the-forum talk to me.

So unless you're prepared to accept perpetual animosity between you and your political enemies, you should try to find ways to show good faith where possible.

Again I point to Obergefell. There was very little resistance, and what there was was crushed with the assistance of conservatives who had respect for the institution if not the decision. Did this "show of good faith" result in any reciprocal co-operation? No. Defectbot continues to defect. There is no reason to co-operate, it will not result in reciprocity, it will only result in further defection.

When it all happens, I might consider objecting to conservatives pushing gun rights in blue states. Probably still reject it on the "it's in the god-damned constitution in black and off-white" grounds, but I'd consider it. Until then, they're absolutely doing the right thing, just not enough of it.

Gun rights are in the bill of rights, but given every legal benefit and cost around marriage I still think it's insane to deny recognition of gay marriage. It seems trivially easy to classify under equal protection.

  • -10

It seems trivially easy to classify under equal protection.

No, it really isn't; it's a huge stretch that would never have occurred to the writers of the Fourteenth Amendment.

After Obergefell, any official dissenter (and as far as I can tell Kim Davis was the only one) was overruled, fired and ruined. When the same is done to all these legislators, bureaucrats, governors, and lower court judges who are making Heller and Bruen into mere academic exercises, THEN perhaps gun rights will have been properly taken seriously.

Which of the following do you think should be covered under gun rights? Single-shot normal rifles, shotguns, assault rifles, SMGs, single-shot pistols, anti-materiel rifles, machine guns, technicals/IFVs, MANPADs, recoilless rifles, rocket launchers, tanks, Davy Crocketts?

(This is not mockery. The argument that's literally in the 2A - militia makes you harder to conquer - applies to all of the above except maybe Davy Crocketts.)

What sort of things do you think should be covered under free speech? Advertisements for restaurants, fiction novels, history papers, science papers, instructions on how to do illegal things, porn, advocacy of violent overthrow of the government, smears of politicians, orders to do illegal things?

Which is to say, I don't know the point of the question. Often enough similar question are asked in order to either say "Oh, so there's a limit... let's just push that back until a Brown Bess is covered but not much more" or "You monster, you'd accept nukes". Gun rights cover all of those except technicals and tanks (vehicles rather than arms) and maybe the nuclear projectile for Davy Crocketts. But just because I'm open to excluding the Davy Crockett doesn't mean I'm at all willing to play the game of "well, modern guns have a much higher rate of fire than 1781 muskets, so they shouldn't be covered either".

My parenthetical note was intended to make it clear that I'm not trying to do that foot-in-the-door tactic, but simply trying to get someone else's opinion on the matter. But whatever, you answered which is what I wanted. Is your line at vehicles driven by the actual text of 2A ("bear" arms), or by some argument I don't currently comprehend?

As for your question retort: not orders, and I split hairs on instructions/advocacy/smears. Specifically:

  • If someone grows cannabis illegally, we can deal with that after the fact; if someone builds a nuke illegally, it's a bit harder to deal with that after the fact, so I'm more concerned about the details of how to build an implosion nuke than I am about the details of how to grow cannabis (or even the details of how to make dynamite off-label, though I'm not about to spread the latter myself).
  • I generally draw the line at indirect/vague vs. direct/specific incitement.
  • Ignorant misinformation shouldn't be punishable, but I've no issue with banning disinformation with the associated mens rea of deliberate deception. Much less of a chilling effect from the latter.

Is your line at vehicles driven by the actual text of 2A ("bear" arms), or by some argument I don't currently comprehend?

The actual text. It's an academically interesting question about whether mounting a gun in the back of a Toyota Hilux counts under "bearing arms", but the Hilux itself isn't covered under "arms".

Ignorant misinformation shouldn't be punishable, but I've no issue with banning disinformation with the associated mens rea of deliberate deception. Much less of a chilling effect from the latter.

As we saw with COVID, that's an exception that can swallow most of the rule.

More comments

I would say - if you can lift it and it doesn't kill indiscriminatory - it is protected under 2A. If it is - kills what it hits - 2A protection, if it is - anything in the area dies - it is not.

From your list - rifles, shotguns, smg, pistols, anti material rifles, machine guns, lasers, drones that stab.

reciolless rifles, rocket launchers, drones with grenades, davy crocketts - no

DMV can take care of the edge cases of tanks and IFV

Above is for the individual right to bear arms.

But here is the thing - a well regulated militia should have access to all of the above but the nukes and other WMD

recoilless rifles

Those are just regular rifles, but oversized. I think they should be legal.

They usually fire HE or HEAT. Flechette rounds would be legit, I suppose. ...Also, the backblast is pretty indiscriminate in and of itself.

After Obergefell, any official dissenter (and as far as I can tell Kim Davis was the only one) was overruled, fired and ruined.

Tbf, there were a handful of other jurisdictions that did not immediately comply, either by direct defiance or refusing to issue any marriage license, though with one exception this was largely ignored.

States' Rights died in the Civil War, and Civil Rights pissed on the corpse. The blue tribe feels zero compunction about imposing its values upon the red tribe. Why should the red tribe be any different?

The specific "state's right" that was trampled over in the civil war was the right to keep slaves. This is not something that the modern red tribe supports. The particular culture practicing slavery deserved to have its corpse be pissed on. The modern red tribe does not.

That’s what the war was about, but the amendments and subsequent court rulings vastly increased federal power on basically all issues ever since, including the Feds protecting individual rights over state laws.

The red tribe is best served by red states ‘pissing on’ rulings by SCOTUS and executive decisions by the president or cabinet and daring congress to respond militarily or in some other extreme way. The left hasn’t been tested in this way in sixty years, conservative states should just start refusing to enforce policy they don’t like.

Yes, and I hope that Governor Abbott just starts deporting migrants by the thousand after he loses the lawsuit about doing that. But I'll trust red state governments to protect me from the blue tribe when they start doing that.

Speaking as plainly as possible, would it be fair to say that your argument is that Conservatives should refrain from employing one of the core political tactics of Progressivism for the last, oh, sixty years or more, a tactic that has been enormously successful and has directly contributed to the current social dominance of Progressivism, with the full understanding that Progressives will never reciprocate in any way, and that the failure to reciprocate will never be punished in any way? If not, what's the distinction I'm missing?

...On the one hand, one might reply "well, when you phrase it that way, it sounds terrible." On the other hand, sometimes the reason a thing sounds terrible is because it is terrible.

Similarly, I’d find it wrong if and when a progressive Supreme Court limited gun ownership rights in a conservative state.

What does "wrong" mean to you? Like, they've absolutely done exactly that before, and they absolutely will do it again. What follows?

It doesn’t seem bad if Texas is the Wild West and Hawaii is East Asia when it comes to gun policy.

I agree that this would be most agreeable in the abstract. But why do you believe that we can get there from here, in any meaningful sense? If so, how? If not, why advocate a "solution" that you yourself do not believe will actually solve the problem?

I personally endorse the "sanctuary" approach. I think Conservatives should actively and collectively dismantle respect for authority and law not their own, that they should systematically stonewall and impede the ability of distant outgroups to play any significant role in the governance or regulation of their communities. This appears to me to be the "what follows" to the attitude you seek to be displaying above, because "local majorities overrule global majorities" is absolutely not how things actually work now or have worked in the past. But on the other hand, until they're actually able to achieve that state, how do unilateral concessions help to secure the general rule?

they should systematically stonewall and impede the ability of distant outgroups to play any significant role in the governance or regulation of their communities

One hopeful trends in the past few years is many sheriffs declaring they won't enforce certain gun laws. Legislators may do as they please, but this is a regular capacity mag and regular rifle "sanctuary county".

I don’t really disagree with you. I have no problem with conservatives ‘playing dirty’ in practice. I just lament the fact that the US moves ever further away from the ideal of a confederation of states that allow each other a great deal of internal liberty in the design their own societies. Fighting that, I think, starts exactly with the ‘sanctuary approach’ you discuss, ignoring decrees from Washington where appropriate and daring any progressive president or congress to send in the tanks.

The thing, of course, is that ‘sanctuary cities’ are so abhorrent because they represent a state or city’s participation in external security, which is one of the very few policy areas in which the federal governments enforcement of practice upon the states is completely justified as an inherent property of a sovereign political union.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Gun rights are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, that makes them a Federal issue. Now, perhaps the exact wording and definition of what regulations constitute "infringement" or not are up for debate, but that is a debate about the meaning of the constitution itself. Once we've defined what is and is not infringement, no State has the right to make laws stricter than that. It's out of their jurisdiction. This is not a pure 100% Democracy, the electorate and anyone they elect do not have the legal authority to infringe the right to bear arms, even within the borders of their state, because the constitution does not give them that right.

Again, it's open for debate what does and does not count as infringement, but the legitimacy of getting involved in other state's business is present on this issue, and not other more progressive issues, because it's directly and clearly established in the Constitution.