When Virginia made it legal for local governments to restrict guns, a whole lot of them jumped at the chance. More than I would have thought considering how many counties passed some kind of sanctuary resolution. The law only allows them to restrict it on city or county property, but that’s what a lot are doing.
Now, one more looks to make some changes in that regard.
The Herndon Town Council is considering a plan to double down on banning guns on town property.
If approved, the ban would restrict the possession, use, and transportation of any firearms on specified town-owned property, including parks and community centers. It would also apply to any public street, sidewalk, right-of-way, or public place specifically being used for an official town-sponsored event.
Some residents fired off on a similar ban in Fairfax County, which was passed nearly one year ago. Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and other neighboring jurisdictions also have similar ordinances.
As drafted, all violations would be classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The ordinance does not apply to sworn or retired law enforcement officers, military personnel who are conducting official duties, historical re-enactors, private security hired by the town, and individuals who have a concealed handgun allowed through a valid concealed handgun permit.
Now, look at that bolded section. It basically says you can’t carry a gun pretty much anywhere, since the chances are good you’ll somehow step on something that falls under this ordinance.
However, depending on how the law is structured, it may go beyond where you can step. For example, is your car being on a public street enough to ban firearms from being within? I’m not sure that would survive a legal challenge, but it could cause significant problems for residents of Herndon, to say the least.
It’s one thing to want to keep guns out of town buildings or out of public parks. Nothing you do will actually make anyone safer, but I understand why you’d try to do that. Yet off the sidewalks? That’s getting into the downright ridiculous.
What this law does is tell you that you can’t go for a walk in the town with a concealed firearm. Never mind that people get attacked from time to time while doing that. No, that doesn’t matter.
Plus, as I said, this doesn’t make anyone safer. Plenty of cities have bans on guns in public parks. People still get shot there. Probably because criminals don’t care about the laws.
All these ordinances do is make it less likely a good guy will have his gun when he or she will really need it. Many people won’t carry when they’re not permitted and this law is going to hurt those people.
And that’s if you drop the incredibly problematic idea of banning guns on sidewalks, roads, or right-of-ways.
Luckily, the law isn’t a done deal. There will be a public hearing tonight at 7:00, so maybe the people of the town can talk some sense into their so-called leadership.