Alexandria, Virginia is Creating Safe Spaces for Criminals

Even after Virginia passed an orgy of gun control measures in the recent session of its legislature, municipal governments have continued to press the issue.

Alexandria Mayor Justin M. Wilson and the City Council took advantage of HB421/SB35, a bill signed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on April 22md which weakens the state firearms preemption measures currently in place.

In other words, localities now have more leeway in prohibiting the possession, carry, or transportation of firearms in several locations.

The NRA-ILA highlighted some of the locations covered under this law:

(i) in any building, or part thereof, owned or used by such locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality, for governmental purposes; 

(ii) in any public park owned or operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; 

(iii) in any recreation or community center facility operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; or 

(iv) in any public street, road, alley, or sidewalk or public right-of-way or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit.

The gun rights advocacy organization also brought attention to what local officials in Alexandria have been planning for the past few weeks::

On June 4th, the city manager presented the mayor and city council with legislation in the form of File #20-0902​. With the intent of restricting firearms as much as state law permits, the proposed legislation changes the city code to prohibit firearms in all of the locations listed under the amended preemption statute. Even law-abiding citizens with a Virginia concealed handgun permit would be prohibited from carrying a firearm for self-defense in these locations. Those found in violation of the proposed prohibitions would face up to a year imprisonment and a $2,500 fine.

On June 22, 2020, the Alexandria City Council finally passed an ordinance to ban firearms on all public property.

The law goes into effect on July 1 and bans firearms and ammunition from all facilities and parks in the city.

Virginia is clearly moving in an anti-gun direction and it does not look like it will be changing course anytime soon.