Albemarle looks to ban firearms on county-owned property

Guns could be banned on Albemarle County-owned property starting this coming week. The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on a proposed ordinance prohibiting firearms from buildings, parks and community centers owned or used by Albemarle for governmental purposes. Since 2018, after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, the board has asked the General Assembly to add Albemarle to the list of localities in which carrying specified loaded weapons in public areas is prohibited, but was unsuccessful. During the 2020 session, state lawmakers granted localities the authority to ban weapons from buildings and events. Albemarle does not currently have a permitting process for events outside of its public parks, so events are not included in its ordinance. Authorities or other entities controlled by Albemarle for governmental purposes also are covered by the proposed ordinance. County staff did not respond by press time to questions about which other entities would be covered. The proposed ordinance also allows the county executive to “approve and order implemented lawful security measures reasonably designed to prevent unauthorized access of the buildings and areas.” If the proposed ordinance is adopted, notice has to be posted at all entrances of buildings and park and recreation and community center facilities.

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