The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt a ban on firearms on county property, including buildings and parks. It does include an exception for carrying firearms secured in a container inside a private vehicle, but the board chose not to extend that to boats or allow concealed carry in parks. The Board previously considered the ordinance in July but postponed a decision amid questions of how to handle concealed carry and firearms in vehicles.
Supervisor Diantha McKeel expressed concern about the proliferation of firearms. She said, “I am supportive of what we’re doing. I think it brings safety to our community. But we have compromised, I believe, made some good compromises for those members of our community who carry guns for whatever reason legally and want the ability to leave them in their vehicles.”
Chair Ned Gallaway said that he considered a way to allow concealed carry in parks, but that ultimately it would have been confusing and created a risk of people accidentally violating the law.
He said, “To put it in place across all of county property just makes it easier, more easily understood.”
NBC29 reported that gun supporters held a Second Amendment Rally in front of the County Office building while the Board met virtually. Several speakers on both sides of the issue called in to the meeting.
Charlottesville Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention member April Holmes told the Board, “The proposed ordinance to prohibit firearms on county property would go a long way to preventing gun violence and the potential threat to peaceful assembly by residents as well. Restricting firearms by all but designated authorities could greatly reduce the chance of injury or death, accidental or intentional.”
Albemarle resident Jonathan McMann said, “I’m deeply disappointed with this revised ordinance. At the public hearing it was clear that the majority of board members were amenable to at least including an exception for Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit holders. But this exception was not included in the revised ordinance you have here tonight.”
He said, “Why do we need this ordinance? What problem is it intended to solve?”
– – –