The Norfolk City Council removed from its agenda discussion Tuesday a new gun ordinance that would have banned guns in parks, city buildings, and at posted events. Gun rights supporters flooded the council with concerns over unclear language in the ordinance and its cover letter.
During the council meeting, City Clerk Allan Bull said the ordinance “does not appear to be ready … We’d like to bring some additional information to the council.”
Bull said they would consider it in the future. The draft ordinance would have banned possessing, carrying, or transporting firearms and ammunition in public buildings, parks, community centers, or in event areas. The statute said the event areas could include sidewalks, but would have to be marked off with signs. However, a cover letter written by City Attorney Bernard Pishko implied that guns would be permanently banned on public streets, and sidewalks.
Chairman of the Republican Party of Norfolk Bob Brown said the council had “massive amounts of blowback” about the ordinance.
“It went out all over the second amendment followers in this area to burn up their phones and email inboxes,” Brown added in a text.
Brown is trying to force the council to discuss a different ordinance, one that would prevent Norfolk from regulating firearms. If the council does not pass the ordinance, Brown said he will try to get enough signatures for the ordinance to go to a general public vote. Brown’s ordinance is similar to a non-binding Second Amendment sanctuary resolution drafted by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). Although the VCDL resolution could be revoked at any time, Brown’s ordinance would carry the weight of the law.
The Virginia Star contacted multiple Norfolk officials including City Attorney Pishko, but they did not respond by press time.
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