Norfolk residents show support for 2nd Amendment sanctuary city

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Gun rights took center stage at the Norfolk City Council meeting Tuesday night. 

Dozens crowded into council chambers, urging city leaders to designate the Mermaid City as a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

Several people spoke on the issue, but dozens more supporters were in the crowd. 

There’s no official sanctuary city resolution on the table, but that didn’t stop people from arguing their case any less. 

Several bills concerning guns have already been pre-filed in the state legislature. With Democrats controlling the House and Senate, plenty of folks are fully expecting them to become law.  

Speakers like Cameron Carlson don’t want to see this happen.  

“I don’t want to be a victim and these laws, and bills that are potentially going to be passed will criminalize that aspect of it — just for possessing a rifle or an assault style weapon, which we have legally purchased,” Carlson said. 

One after one, passionate pleas went out to city leaders.  

Many in the crowd feel what’s being proposed in the General Assembly is unconstitutional and fear being branded criminals.  

“We’re asking to make Norfolk a Second Amendment sanctuary. We know it’s symbolic, but symbolism carries weight. Richmond sees us. They hear us,” said one speaker. 

However, a few people feel no city is above state jurisdiction.  

“Everyone in the state should obey the laws of the state. The founding fathers were talking about flintlocks. The rights of citizens to be safe wherever they are outweighs the rights to possess weapons of war,” said another man.

Others believe a resolution won’t do much, saying the state and country are already safehavens for guns.  

“Nothing that the General Assembly can pass will even make a ripple in the amount of guns that already exist in this country,” said Steve Baggarly. 

A city spokeswoman says it’s up to council whether a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution happens. 

Where localities stand on the Second Amendment:

Localities across Virginia are considering the idea of becoming Second Amendment sanctuaries, which are localities that have pledged not to use public resources to enforce any laws they see as unconstitutional. Some have passed resolutions simply in support of citizens’ Second Amendment rights, while others have said discussions on gun laws belong in Richmond.

Here’s the rundown on where area localities stand:

  • Accomack County: The Board of Supervisors did not make the county a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution affirming its commitment to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 18.
  • Chesapeake: City Council did not make the city a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution affirming its commitment to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 10.
  • Exmore: Exmore officials have passed a resolution to become a Second Amendment sanctuary city.
  • Gloucester County: The Board of Supervisors voted to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.
  • Hampton: City Council has not voted on any Second Amendment-related resolution, but hundreds voiced their support at the council meeting Dec. 11. The NAACP also attended and came out against the idea. Mayor said the issue is “premature.”
  • James City County: The Board of Supervisors did not make the county a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution affirming its commitment to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 10.
  • Isle of Wight: The Board of Supervisors did not make the county a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution to affirm its commitments to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment.
  • Mathews County: The Board of Supervisors voted Dec. 17 to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.
  • Newport News: City Council has not voted on any Second Amendment-related resolution, but a large crowd attended a Dec. 10 meeting to voice support for gun rights.
  • Norfolk: City Council has not voted on any Second Amendment-related resolution, but a large crowd of residents voiced their support Dec. 10.
  • Northampton County: The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution expressing its support for the rights of citizens to bear arms under the Second Amendment Dec. 10, but the resolution did not declare it a “sanctuary.”
  • Poquoson: Poquoson City Council voted to become a “Constitutional City” and uphold citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 9.
  • Portsmouth: City Council voted 4-3 in favor of passing a resolution declaring Portsmouth a “Second Amendment Constitutional City” Jan. 14.
  • Southampton County: Southampton officials have passed a resolution to become a Second Amendment sanctuary city.
  • Suffolk: City Council voted on December 16, 2019 in support of a resolution reaffirming Suffolk’s commitment to the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Jan. 15, City Council unanimously voted to amend the resolution to add a paragraph expressing the city’s “deep and abiding commitment to protecting all Constitutional rights” of residents, as well as its opposition to any law, regulation or other act that would unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of citizens, even beyond the Second Amendment. It also strikes two lines.
  • Surry County: County officials did not make the county a “sanctuary,” but approved a resolution affirming its commitment to citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment Dec. 5.
  • Virginia Beach: City Council voted Jan. 6 to become a “Second Amendment Constitutional City.”
  • York County: The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Dec. 17 to become a “Constitutional City” and uphold citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment.

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