Former Portsmouth employee sues city, claiming his Second Amendment rights were violated

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A former Portsmouth employee has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming they violated his Second Amendment rights. 

The lawsuit says Reginald McManes, 57, had worked for the city over 30 years before he was allegedly forced to resign over an unloaded handgun he kept locked in his truck.

McManes says he was on his break at the Royal Farms gas station on May 2 when he was first approached by a city official about having a gun at the workplace. 

He says this all happened despite the fact that he had a valid concealed weapon carry permit.

The human resources director alleged the city got a call accusing McManes of having the gun at work. 

According to the lawsuit, McManes explained to the director that he holds a valid Virginia concealed weapons carry permit and that the lawfully possessed pistol was secured, stored, and locked in his personal truck.

The suit says his truck was parked on Fredrick Boulevard, so he agreed to meet the director at that location so she could see for herself, but she never showed up. 

The documents say the next day, the city’s public works director gave him the option of being terminated for allegedly violating the city’s weapons policy or voluntarily resigning. 

Paperwork says McManes is fighting back because while city policy doesn’t allow for guns in the workplace, the documents say there is a state law exemption. 

Virginia code allows for employees of municipalities, like McManes, to store lawfully possessed guns in locked private cars at the workplace and forbids the city from preventing that. 

10 On Your Side reached out to Portsmouth officials and the city attorneys office but have not heard back yet. 

McMane’s attorney, Steven Wiley, says he has no comment beyond what’s in the lawsuit.

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