Petitioners succeed in forcing Norfolk Council to consider a 2nd Amendment sanctuary resolution


Norfolk City Council hears speakers in favor of a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary resolution on January 28, 2020 (Brett Hall/WAVY-TV)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The debate over a 2nd Amendment sanctuary will again play out in Norfolk after petitioners have turned in enough signatures to have City Council at least consider their demands.

Last Tuesday at the end of Norfolk City Council’s work session, City Clerk Allan Bull announced that a petition had been submitted requesting council pass a “Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance.”

As written, it effectively asks the city to not exercise any “authority granted to it” to regulate or prohibit the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition or components, or any combination of those items.

Under Norfolk’s City Charter, a group of registered voters can force the council to consider an item if they get enough signatures.

On May 28, Bob Brown, chairman of the Republican Party of Norfolk, said he turned in 1,400 signatures. He needed 1,250.

Back in January, Brown said he felt forced do it after he Norfolk City Council failed to take any formal votes on communicating their stance on newly-proposed state gun laws.

“So today is a big day. The 30-day clock starts running for council to take action…,” Brown wrote on Facebook.

If enough signatures are verified, the council would be forced to hold public hearings on the proposal, which also says the city would waive its sovereign immunity as it relates to any injury sustained by a person in a designated firearm-free zone.

If the council refused to take action, petitioners could again hit the streets and gather several thousand more signatures to force the issue to a city-wide referendum.

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