Is it ‘A Solution Looking for a Problem’ in Fairfax City?

Virginia recently adopted legislation allowing localities to enact ordinances prohibiting firearms and ammunition in and on certain public properties or at permitted public events. And last week, Fairfax City took advantage of this opportunity to do just that. But it didn’t do it lightly or without careful consideration of the new law’s possible ramifications. City Council members discussed the ordinance at an October work session, a January meeting and last Tuesday’s public hearing. They also read emails from City residents expressing their opinions on the issue, listened to more citizen comments during the Feb. 9 hearing and consulted with City Attorney Brian Lubkeman. And even then, they still disagreed on some points and made amendments to each other’s motions. But in the end, they came together and passed an ordinance they believe will be in the best interests of the City and its residents. It prohibits firearms in buildings owned or used by the City, in the City’s public parks, and in any recreation facility or community center owned or operated by the City. This ban includes trails, sidewalks, and parking areas within public-park boundaries. And while there are certain exemptions, there are none for people holding concealed-carry permits. Violators of this ordinance could be convicted of a Class 4 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $250. The new City ordinance is effective immediately, but full enforcement won’t happen until the appropriate notices and signs are posted, where required. Go to for a list of all […]

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