RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond City Council voted Monday to pass an ordinance proposed by Mayor Levar Stoney last week that would ban the carrying of any class of firearm within city-owned buildings, parks and community facilities.
The ordinance will only go into effect if the General Assembly approves the law allowing localities to ban guns in city-owned buildings. Lawmakers will return to Richmond for a special session to address gun violence on July 9.
Stoney introduced the ordinance on June 24 following the Virginia Beach mass shooting and the death of a 9-year-old girl at a Richmond park during Memorial Day weekend. The ordinance does not apply to law enforcement officers, security guards or authorized military personnel performing their duties.
Gov. Ralph Northam called for the special session in the week after the mass shooting in Virginia Beach. His package of legislation includes ban on silencers and high capacity ammunition magazines as well as broadening the ability of local governments to limit guns in city buildings.
“Tonight the City of Richmond sent a strong message to the Virginia General Assembly that it stands ready and willing to immediately implement the kind of common sense gun regulations that will enhance the safety and security of residents, employees and visitors to our city government offices and parks,” Stoney said in a statement following the 7-2 vote. “Every Richmonder has the right to feel secure and free from the fear of senseless gun violence in our city’s public spaces.”
After the ordinance’s approval by the city council, the General Assembly will now review Stoney’s proposal. The mayor said on Twitter that the council “proved tonight they have the spine to act. Now the ball is in the General Assembly’s court.”
“Now it’s time to take this momentum across the street and hold our commonwealth’s elected representatives accountable for protecting our children and families,” Stoney’s statement said. “Leaders in the City of Richmond proved tonight they have the spine to act. Now the ball is in the General Assembly’s court.”