The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has stirred up local gun advocates by proposing a ban on the carrying of weapons on police property in a draft of their legislative program for the 2007 General Assembly.
According to board chairman Gerry Connolly, the Fairfax County Police Department requested the proposed bill to improve officer safety, a goal highlighted by the May 2006 shooting at the Sully District police station that resulted in the deaths of officers Vicki Armel and Michael Garbarino. Connolly is also careful to point out that the proposal bans all weapons, not just guns.
However, Michael Stollenwerk, a Fairfax resident and a founder of the gun advocacy Web site http://www.opencarry.org, believes it is about more than police stations. Many of the Fairfax County supervisors share office space with police stations, and Stollenwerk believes the proposed law would unfairly restrict the accessibility of government for citizens who carry guns.
"If I can't carry a gun into a public place, then it's not a public place for me. I can't feel safe there, and my rights are restricted. It's about public spaces," Stollenwerk said.
Along with other members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Stollenwerk spoke against the proposed ban at a public hearing at the Fairfax County Government Center on Nov. 20.
"I was carrying a gun when I spoke to the supervisors at that meeting. But what's to stop them from putting a little police station in the government center?" Stollenwerk asked.
OCDO NOTE: Chairman Connolly is just tossing chaff into the air when hewas apparently "careful to point out [to the reporter] that the proposal bans all weapons, not just guns."
The VA firearms preemption statute is just that - a firearms preemption statute! Fairfax County can already ban machettes, swords, and flamethrowers from police stations right now without any new state statute. And the County canalso now ban guns from jails and detention facilities in the County!
See the preemption statute at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+15.2-915:
"§ 15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies.
A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, shall not be construed to provide express authorization.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit a locality from adopting workplace rules relating to terms and conditions of employment of the workforce. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101 from acting within the scope of his duties.
The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail or juvenile detention facility.
B. Any local ordinance, resolution or motion adopted prior to the effective date of this act governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, other than those expressly authorized by statute, is invalid.
(1987, c. 629, § 15.1-29.15; 1988, c. 392; 1997, cc. 550, 587; 2002, c. 484; 2003, c. 943; 2004, cc. 837, 923.)"