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  • VA-ALERT-02-10-2021

1. Winchester ignores overwhelming comments against local gun-control
2. Fairfax City lowers penalty, but passes local gun-control ordinance
3. Portsmouth gun discussion was not focused on gun control
4. Loudoun County postpones consideration of local gun-control
5. General Assembly update

1. Winchester ignores overwhelming comments against local gun-control


On Tuesday, the vast majority of comments given to the Winchester City Council on their proposed local gun-control were against the ordinance. Ignoring the comments, the Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance, which prohibits carry in local government buildings, parks, recreation and community centers, and at permitted, or should have been permitted, events and adjacent streets. No exceptions for CHP holders. Violators will be warned before being charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.


2. Fairfax City lowers penalty, but passes local gun-control ordinance


After much detailed discussion and hearing from the public, including most against the proposed local gun-control ordinance, Fairfax City Council passed the ordinance prohibiting carry in local government buildings, parks, and recreation and community centers on Tuesday. Banning carry at permitted, or should have been permitted, events was stripped out of the ordinance. Also the penalty was reduced from a Class 1 misdemeanor (up to a $2,500 fine and/or up to 12 months in jail) to a Class 4 misdemeanor (up to a $250 fine and no jail time).

City Councilman Yi was the shining star, standing up for liberty and the only one to vote against the ordinance. Yi also put in an amendment to exempt CHP holders, but that motion was defeated. In second place was Councilman Harmon, who supported Yi's amendment exempting CHP holders, but, sadly, he voted for the final package.

A warning will be given to anyone violating the ordinance before being charged with the Class 4 misdemeanor.



3. Portsmouth gun discussion was not focused on gun control


On Tuesday, the Portsmouth City Council heard testimony on gangs and "gun violence." Since it dealt with guns, the meeting was monitored to see if local gun-control would be discussed. Local gun-control did not come up. Gang violence in the City was the focus.

4. Loudoun County postpones consideration of local gun-control


On Wednesday, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors met to get public input on two proposed ordinances banning carry in County buildings, parks, and recreation and community centers. The 2nd proposal exempted CHP holders in parks. After hearing the public input, Chairwoman Randall and Supervisor Briskman moved to suspend the rules and vote on the ordinance. That motion was withdrawn when it was clear most of the Board wanted more time to consider the ordinance. The Board then voted to postpone consideration of the proposed ordinance until their March 2, 2021 business meeting. That would allow more time for amendments to be proposed and considered.

There was a motion to table the whole proposed ordinance. Unfortunately that motion was only supported by Supervisors Kershner and Buffington.

One of the amendments that might come up on March 2 is to allow CHP holders to carry in those County buildings that don't have security screening (supported by Supervisor Letourneau).

There were lots of excellent speakers, the majority of which were against the ordinance. A couple of Jewish speakers supported the exemption for CHP holders in parks due to threats to the Jewish community. I was baffled why they would accept the carry prohibition in buildings. Surely, they must realize that they could be attacked just as easily in a library as in a park?

Let's keep up the pressure on Loudoun County!

5. General Assembly update


Today, the Senate Judiciary committee heard two House bills:

HB2128, Lopez, allows the Virginia State Police to take up to 5 days to perform an "instant" background check. The bill passed out of committee on a 9 to 6 partisan vote and heads to the Senate Floor.

Voting pro-gun: Norment, Obenshain, McDougle, Stuart, Stanley, Peake

Voting anti-gun: Edwards, Saslaw, Lucas, Deeds, Petersen, Surovell, McClellan, Boysko, Morrissey

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HB2310, Runion, allows people who took their online CHP training before January 1, 2021 and tried to apply for their CHP before January 1, 2021, but were not able to do so due to COVID-19 restrictions, to be able to reapply until March 31. The bill passed out of committee unanimously and heads to the Senate Floor.



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