Albemarle County Supervisors unanimously pass ban on guns in specific public places
ALBEMARLE Co., Va. (WVIR) - Gun owners in Central Virginia have some new rules they need to follow when in Albemarle County.
Wednesday, Albemarle Supervisors voted unanimously to ban guns in county buildings, parks, and community centers with few exceptions.
Like most gun laws, this one riled up a portion of the county. Just before the Board of Supervisors took up the issue, there was a Second Amendment Rally in front of the County Office Building.
The protestors’ wishes didn’t come to fruition, as the supervisors voted for what was called a common-sense measure.
One month after their first protest, county gun owners and advocates gathered Wednesday to express their grievances with supervisors.
On Zoom, there wasn’t much disagreement.
“This is really a common-sense gun control law, and it’s something that I totally support,” said Supervisor Bea Lapisto-Kirtley.
Most of the discussion was about removing boats from the list of acceptable places to keep a stored firearm, and then encouraging clear signage to inform everyone of the new rules.
“We can come up with everyday language without quoting a bunch of numbers of an ordinance, it seems like to me,” said Supervisor Diantha McKeel.
The exceptions include police and national guard members, but not concealed carry permit holders.
Former Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci disagrees with that.
“What is the justification?” he asked in an interview. “How would it affect that young woman who carries that firearm for her self-protection who wants to jog alone in the morning without fear?”
There was a quick discussion sparked by Supervisor Liz Palmer to have some parks, especially in rural areas, allow concealed carry. Other supervisors pushed back, saying that would be too confusing.
Some of the protesters said there’s no reason for this law because there hasn’t been violence committed. Supervisor Ann Mallek says there didn’t need to be.
“Intimidation of others is a real problem, and I personally have seen when half the members of the public in the Board of Supervisors meeting got up and left when someone came in that they perceived to be carrying a weapon,” she said.
County Supervisors did approve the amendment (which was added since the July meeting) that allows people to keep a firearm secured in their car, even if it is in the parking lot of a park, county-owned building, or community center.
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