The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) is calling for a pressure campaign on the members of the Petersburg City Council after the council approved a gun ban on city property similar to bans enacted in other localities.
“Petersburg slipped through local gun-control a few days ago and we (and almost everyone else, including the Petersburg police) just learned about it yesterday,” a VCDL alert said. “However, I have heard that since the local newspaper covered the story (below), that City Council is getting pounded.”
The ordinance bans firearms, parts, and ammunition from being carried in city buildings, parks, recreation centers, and public streets and sidewalks adjacent to permitted events. The council unanimously passed the ordinance on Tuesday, according to The Progress Index.
The Index reported that Councilor Charlie Cuthbert introduced the ordinance earlier in the summer after community activist Willie Noise III was shot and killed at a city park.
Only two members of the public spoke at a July hearing, expressing concerns about carrying firearms in vehicles and the potential need to carry firearms in parks.
The ordinance exempts law enforcement officers performing their duty and city-contracted armed security.
The city has grappled with crime rates, and the city’s problems featured prominently in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. At a September 17 round table with Attorney General Mark Herring, community leaders said resources and youth intervention programs are needed, according to The Index, which reported that police have confiscated more than 1,200 guns since 2018 while shootings remain high. Herring has settled on a pro-gun control platform as a key weapon in his campaign for re-election against GOP nominee Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach), who is running on a law-and-order platform.
“I have reason to believe that even though this ordinance was passed unanimously, there’s a chance to get it repealed if enough pressure can be applied to City Council,” the VCDL alert said.