WATCH NOW: Dozens protest Albemarle’s proposed ban on firearms on county-owned property

WATCH NOW: Dozens protest Albemarle's proposed ban on firearms on county-owned property

About 70 people gathered at the Albemarle County Office Building downtown ahead of a virtual public hearing on a proposed ordinance banning firearms at most county-owned property. The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday held the public hearing on the proposed ordinance prohibiting firearms from buildings, parks and community centers owned or used by Albemarle for governmental purposes. The board did not vote on the ordinance by press time. Steve Harvey, the White Hall District Republican challenger who lost to Supervisor Ann H. Mallek in 2019, organized the rally. “To create a situation like this, when there is utterly no problem, is to bring on risk that’s unnecessary,” he said. During the board meeting, Amanda Farley, with the county attorney’s office, said the county’s rationale for an ordinance was around public safety of government employees and the general public. “Further, it’s an exercise of management and responsible management of government operations, and over its property,” she said. Farley said her office was recommending some changes to the proposed ordinance. “One is that the board consider replacing the current discretionary exemptions granted to the county executive in the draft and replace that with a blanket exemption for valid concealed weapon permit holders,” she said. Notice has to be posted at all entrances of buildings and parks and recreation and community center facilities, and Farley said staff was recommending expressly including that notice provision in the ordinance. “So if the sign is not there, it’s not enforceable there,” she said. Violation of […]

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