Richmond Police Department (RPD) officers were seen at the Robert E. Lee monument on Saturday morning posting signs on the recently-passed Richmond city gun ordinance.
The new ordinance, passed unanimously by the Richmond city council earlier this month, does not outright ban firearms in public spaces, but it does call for restrictions when a permitted event is taking place.
Specifically, the ordinance prohibits the possession, carrying, or transportation of any firearms in any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or any open public space when it is being used by, or is adjacent to, an event that requires a city permit.
Good morning! RPD is up bright and early. At around 9:30 am 09/26/2020, RPD began to place signs to notify people about our lovely new gun law. pic.twitter.com/zZrFPDOyAZ
— donate to my cashapp (@ritualizedrites) September 26, 2020
The measure expands on restrictions prohibiting guns in city-owned buildings and parks, but does not apply to authorized military personnel, law enforcement officers as well as armed security guards who are contracted or employed by the City of Richmond.
“The City of Richmond proudly hosts hundreds of public events each year, but I believe it’s in the interest of everyone’s safety to take guns out of these spaces when neighbors, visitors and families gather,” Stoney said previously while discussing the ordinance. “Under this proposed change, Richmond residents will be able to attend public events with a greater sense of security, knowing that the city is actively prioritizing their safety.”
The penalty for violating the ordinance, whether it be a civil fine or a misdemeanor, is not included within the specific language.
The full text of the ordinance can be found here.
According to VPM reporter Roberto Roldan, RPD officers were putting up the signs because a fish fry was happening at the Lee monument Saturday afternoon.
There’s a fish fry going on at the Lee Monument, dubbed MDP Circle by protesters. I think this is the first time Richmond Police are enforcing a new ordinance banning guns on public roads, sidewalks and parks at virtually all events in the city. The signs go down to JEB. @myVPM pic.twitter.com/HtvryRhfTj
— Roberto Roldan (@ByRobertoR) September 26, 2020
While some saw the gun ordinance as a good measure intended to protect local residents and event attendees throughout Richmond, many gun rights activists and organizations strongly opposed the measure saying it makes legal possession of firearms more difficult and infringes on 2nd Amendment rights.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League said on their website the ordinance “will have a massive spider web of gun control across the Commonwealth. It makes carrying a gun such a headache because you have to know the gun laws of over 193 localities instead of just knowing state law. And it reduces where you can carry.”
– – –
Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Robert E. Lee Statue” by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0.