The Norfolk 2nd Amendment Preservation Coalition achieved all necessary signatures required to have the city council review its petition. This followed last Friday’s court decision to award the coalition as much time necessary to gather signatures.
“We think a decision like this is too important to let seven partisan city council members decide,” Republican Party of Norfolk Chairman and Norfolk 2nd Amendment Preservation Coalition Founder Robert “Bob” Brown said.
Also Brown shared with The Virginia Star that this wasn’t his first time organizing and collecting signatures for petitions.
Prior to this year, Brown had led an initiative to collect signatures for a referendum to get an elected school board. Brown also advocated for the recall against former Norfolk City Treasurer and councilman Anthony Burfoot over suspected criminal activity. Burfoot was later indicted and sentenced to serve six years in federal prison.
However, Brown explained that his extensive experience couldn’t overcome the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. Due to limits on gatherings and petitioning in public areas, Brown wasn’t able to obtain all the signatures he needed in the spring to have the city council review the initiative.
“I’m an experienced person for collecting signatures, but we couldn’t do it under their COVID restrictions,” he said.
The coalition filed an injunction in May to get more time due to the pandemic. Last month, they received their time in court. Last Friday, the judge awarded the coalition an indefinite window of time to gather the required amount of signatures.
Brown stated that he went to work immediately following the ruling. Within a matter of days, his coalition gathered more than enough signatures for the city council to hear their petition: nearly 5,000 names.
Brown added that the private interests funding political action committees have influenced the political landscape in Norfolk. He expressed confidence in his coalition’s ability to impact gun law changes in Norfolk.
“The only way to beat it is to fight cash roots with grassroots,” he said.
At this point, the city council has the option to wait 30 days to review the petition or they may address it during their next meeting on November 24.
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