NEEDLES — It’s now officially declared a Second Amendment Sanctuary City, but don’t presume to carry a firearm with impunity on the streets of Needles regardless of recognition by the states of Arizona or Nevada to a constitutional right to do so, or issuance of a permit by any jurisdiction other than California.
Needles City Councilor Timothy Terral called the declaration a first step to start to change California law regarding firearms when the council brought his proposal to the agenda in June. California law hasn’t changed, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, with which Needles contracts for police services, is still enforcing it. In fact, the wording of the resolution making the declaration official, approved by the council July 9, changed after it was posted as part of the agenda packet.
Sheriff’s Captain Ross Tarangle, commander of Needles’ Colorado River Station, called attention to the change. Section 2 of the adopted resolution now reads: “That the City Council affirms its support for the San Bernardino County Sheriff in his exercise of sound discretion to not enforce against any person an unconstitutional firearms and ammunitions law within the City.” Its conclusion: “and to demonstrate leniency to concealed carry permit holders from other States while in the City,” has been removed.
The original wording was still in the agenda item on the city’s web site as late as July 18. The updated wording was requested and supplied by City Clerk Dale Jones after Captain Tarangle called attention to the change.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon’s statement on the subject, as printed in the July 10 edition of the Needles Desert Star: “We respect the Needles City Council’s right to identify issues they believe will be an economic benefit to their city and for them to work with the legislature to change the law regarding carrying firearms. However, our deputies will continue to enforce California laws pertaining to firearms.”
As near as can be told with any certainty, at present pertinent portions of California law regarding possession or transport of firearms, or California residents’ purchase of ammunition in neighboring states, has not been declared unconstitutional.