NEEDLES — Can sanctuary, readily granted to people in some parts of California, be extended to provisions of the United States Constitution? Can actions of one tiny city be an instrument of change for state law?

“The Needles City Council has voted unanimously to declare itself a Second Amendment sanctuary city,” reads a prepared statement from the City of Needles released Saturday. “In taking this action, the city became the first California city to make such a formal declaration. In addition to declaring itself a Second Amendment sanctuary city, the council voted to form an ad hoc committee to study the issue and draft a resolution setting forth requested changes in California gun laws and policy.”

The question came before council in the form of a discretionary item requested by Councilor Timothy Terral on the June 11 agenda.

Terral’s observation, quoted in the city’s agenda documentation and talked about in open session during the meeting, is that some — perhaps many — residents of Arizona and Nevada refuse to enter California, Needles included, due to state prohibitions on carrying firearms. Terral advised those assembled that the state “does not allow them to come to California and get a CCW (a permit to carry a concealed weapon).”

He said that people don’t come to Needles to shop, or to visit, for that reason; and that quite a few have said 

they’d rather take Mohave County Route 1 through Golden Shores to connect to eastbound Interstate 40 so they could avoid California altogether.

The issue prompted several public comments, none opposed to Second Amendment rights, from residents on both sides of the river including Mohave County District 2 Sup. Hildy Angius. She called the move historic and promised assistance.

Some local residents spoke about being afraid of not being able to defend themselves if confronted by a criminal; but also being afraid of becoming criminals themselves if they attempted to exercise a right to carry a firearm as recognized by the U.S. Constitution.

The city’s prepared statement quoted Mayor Jeff Williams as saying: “The city council wanted our community to know that we support their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. While we recognize that all lawful gun owners are responsible for ensuring they are compliant with state and federal gun laws, we also recognize that the state of California cannot adopt laws that impair the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment. We will be working through our ad hoc committee to develop a resolution for city council consideration addressing in greater detail our concerns with California’s existing gun laws.”

The documentation accompanying the agenda item listed three possibilities for council consideration, to request:

  • The sheriff department not enforce weapons violations by California, Nevada and Arizona residents;
  • The state legislature allow an exemption to California gun laws within a 65-mile radius centered on Needles;
  • The legislature allow reciprocity of concealed weapons permits with Nevada and Arizona.

Terral called the move a first step to start to change California law regarding firearms.

(7) comments

Robert M

Timothy Terral and the Needles City Council are correct in their assertion that Arizona residents will bypasss Needles and travel through Golden Shores to avoid carrying their legally allowed weapons through a tiny section of California. When I travel from Bullhead City (my residence) to Lake Havasu City I do exactly that. Nice to hear of a California city in which the leadership actually thinks for themselves and isn't sold out to the "progressive" agenda....


If you feel a need to bring a weapon everywhere you go, that in it`s self is a problem. Some people like CA just the way it is, and choose to live in CA BECAUSE of it`s strict gun laws. So please continue your drive around to bypass Needles, people like that are the ones who scare me.

Robert M

Its nice that you're comfortable wrapped in your cocoon of "strict gun laws". I guess California doesn't have a problem with meth, murder, rampant illegal immigration by gangs and other antisocial behaviors. It must be some sort of Paradise! But I left California 20+ years ago because the moral decay was becoming evident even then. Yes, I carry a small weapon. Wanna see my police ID? I might have to protect YOU someday!


People like you are ignorant if everyone has a gun less people I likely to get robbed shot and murdered

Wile E Coyote

Gabbin' Newscum, the CA alleged governor and his crew of assorted dingalings, looney-tunes, dingbats, wackos and Progressive Marxist-Socialists (aka Democrats) will doubless have a coronary over the Needles City Council's actions. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the CA National Guard is ordered, by Newscum, to deploy to Needles to arrest, try, convict and execute those who DARE to resist his orders. After all, he and his cronies are trying to remake CA into another Soviet Socialist Republic.


Finally a city in Ca with common since


Strict gun laws restrict only law abiding citizens. Crooks ignore them, that's what makes them 'crooks'. All this about more thorough background checks ... rubbish, the law is fine ... most crooks steal their guns.

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