After the shooting in Virginia Beach, I’m not overly surprised to see some local governments in the Hampton Roads area looking to restrict guns as much as possible.
While they haven’t tripped over themselves as much as I figured some would, it was bound to happen.
It seems Newport News has stepped up to the plate and now has placed a ban open carry in various public spaces.
Newport News City Council voted new gun regulations on Tuesday night.
The approved ordinance prohibits “the open possession, carrying, or transportation of any firearm, ammunition for a firearm, or any components or combination thereof in: (1) any building, or portion thereof, owned by the City or any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the City; (2) any building, or portion thereof, that is being used for governmental purposes by the City or any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the City; (3) any recreation or community center facility, or public park, owned or operated by the City or any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the City; and (4) any public street, road, alley, or sidewalk, or right-of-way, or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public.”
Now, while I disagree with regulating guns in public buildings, I at least understand the motivation there. Even though the ordinance doesn’t impact concealed carry, openly carried guns freak some people out. They don’t get that a gun exposed on the hip is one that’s rarely used for a criminal act. No, they just freak at the sight of a gun and so governments want to feed into that hysteria.
However, the problem is that the law goes beyond just that. It actually prohibits open carry almost everywhere else.
For one thing, if you want to open carry while you go for a walk, you can’t. Sidewalks, roads, alleys, or anything of that sort is now off-limits for such carry. In other words, if you don’t own a vehicle of your own and don’t have a concealed carry license, you’re just slap out of luck with regard to carrying a firearm for self-defense. While the law doesn’t prohibit carry on buses, it does prohibit carrying to and from bus stops.
Further, that last bit that reads “or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public” is somewhat troubling, too.
You see, the term “open to the public”may include private businesses that are simply open to the public can come in for whatever reasons. Many of them may have zero issues with firearms in their place of business. Hell, it includes gun stores that may welcome it.
In other words, this simple ordinance goes well beyond limiting what you can do on city property, it also dictates that others can’t accept such carry in their own places of business, even if they want to.
That’s going way too far.
Then again, it’s not like the city of Newport News gives a damn about anyone’s rights anyway, now do they?