Guns down: City gun control ordinance draws fire

Guns down: City gun control ordinance draws fire

Beginning October 1, guns will be prohibited at government buildings like City Hall, as well as in parks and recreation and community centers, and near permitted events. PC: Skyclad Aerial In June, the Virginia General Assembly passed a slew of gun control bills, including one that allows cities and counties to prohibit guns on public property. Localities across the state, like Newport News and Alexandria, have since enacted such a ban—and last week, Charlottesville followed suit. Beginning October 1, guns will be prohibited in parks, buildings, and recreational or community centers owned by the city. They’ll also be banned on public streets or rights-of-way used for—or adjacent to—a permitted event, according to an ordinance unanimously passed by City Council on September 8. What might have seemed like a straightforward progressive reform has, in fact, stirred controversy. Anti-racist activist Brad Slocum fears the ordinance will be selectively enforced, pointing to the infamous Unite the Right rally, during which Charlottesville and state police officers stood by as white supremacists attacked counterprotesters. “There’s ample recent and historical evidence that these kinds of ordinances…are not usually enforced against groups or individuals that are perceived as friendly to the police or the state, [like] militias, white supremacists, and similar types,” says Slocum, who supports defunding the police. “Whereas they do seem historically to be enforced against Black, left-wing, or otherwise non- or anti-establishment groups and individuals, sometimes severely.” City resident Sean Reid also believes the law will disproportionately impact Black people, citing CPD’s long […]

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