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No action taken on ordinance to prohibit guns near permitted events

Posted at 5:04 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 18:08:11-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond City Council decided not to take action Thursday on an ordinance intended to restrict the presence of firearms at or around certain events in the city.

The ordinance, submitted by Mayor Levar Stoney at the request of Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith, would ban firearms at or adjacent to events that require a city permit.

This would include any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way or any open public space.

Currently, the code bans firearms in city-owned and operated parks and facilities.

There were six public comments on the ordinance, with the majority in opposition.

Chief Gerald Smith told council members it’s a matter of public safety.

Some council members, while expressing support for the ordinance, were concerned with not having enough time to vet it as it was only introduced last week and by-passed a committee hearing.

"The sense that I’m getting from my fellow council members, and this is where I am... I have some concerns about the enforcement of this as well as the legality," said councilwoman Kristen Larson.

The ordinance will now be taken up at a committee and special meeting on September 8.