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Thread: Preempted ordinance resolved in Roanoke

  1. #1
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    Hi everybody. This exchange actually took place a few weeks back. I would have written about it sooner, but I got hit by the flu, and didn't feel like doing much of anything for a while.

    I was browsing the Code of the City of Roanoke when I came across this little gem:

    Sec. 35-30. Possession or discharge of firearms.

    No person shall enter or remain upon any portion of the Carvins Cove Natural Reserve while in possession of firearms; nor shall any person discharge any firearm within the area, except when authorized by the city manager for the purpose of controlling an animal population which threatens the quality of the water supply.
    That's obviously preempted, so I shot off a letter to the City Council. I got a quick response, and as I expected, they referred the matter to the City Attorney. He advised them shortly afterward:

    Dear Mayor Bowers and Council Members:

    I have attached for your consideration an ordinance that would amend ยง35-30, Code of the City of Roanoke, to delete the provision prohibiting the carrying of firearms within Carvins Cove. This provision, which has been in the City Code for a long time, was "grandfathered" by the General Assembly until 2004, when the General Assembly adopted legislation prohibiting localities from regulating the carrying.of firearms, unless authorized to do so by the General Assembly (the City can still prohibit the discharge of weapons in the Cove).

    Please let me know if you have any questions about this matter. With kindest personal regards, I am

    Sincerely yours,
    William M. Hackworth
    City Attorney
    IN THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ROANOKE, VIRGINIA,

    AN ORDINANCE amending and reordaining Chapter 35, Water, Article 11, Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, of the Code of the City of Roanoke (1979), by amending Section 35-30 Possession or discharge of firearms; and dispensing with the second reading by title of this ordinance.

    BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Roanoke as follows:

    1. Chapter 35, Water, Article 11, Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, of the Code of the City of Roanoke (1979), as amended, is hereby amended and reordained to read and provide as follows:

    ARTICLE II. CARVINS COVE NATURAL RESERVE

    Sec. 35-30. Possession or dDischarge of firearms.
    No person shall enter or remain upon any portion of the Carvins Cove Natural Reserve while in possession of firearms; nor shall any person discharge any firearm within the area Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, except when authorized by the city manager for the purpose of controlling an animal population which threatens the quality of the water supply.

    2. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 12 of the City Charter, the second reading of this ordinance by title is dispensed with.
    The City Council apparently took this up at their next regular meeting:

    Dear Mr. Hackworth:

    I am attaching copy of Ordinance No. 38379-030209 amending and reordaining Chapter 35, Water, Article II, Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, of the Code of the City of Roanoke (1979), by amending Section 35-30 Possession or discharge of firearms.

    The abovereferenced measure was adopted by the Council of the City of Roanoke at a regular meeting held on Monday, March 2, 2009, and is in full force and effec upon its passage.

    Sincerely, Stephanie M. Moon, CMC City Clerk
    I'm very pleased that they acted as quickly as they did, except that it was all done with before I found out they were taking it up. I would have liked to attend that meeting. Still, if that's the only thing I can complain about, I'm pretty happy.

  2. #2
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    Congrats on your successful activism!

  3. #3
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    Excellent!

    I did something similar with the Parks & Rec department of Texarkana, TX. I had to go to one of their buildings for a meeting, and noticed some obsolete (pre- PC 30.06) signage on the doors banning concealed handguns. Not only was the signage obsolete, any restrictions on possession are fully preempted in Texas.

    I wrote the Parks & Rec director and provided the relevant cites; he forwarded it to the city attorney, then wrote me back that they were about to scrape the windows and put up new signs anyway. So this saved them the trouble; they just scraped the old notices and didn't put up any new signs.

    Some parks still have signs listing firearms as prohibited, but they're gradually getting those corrected as they're replaced or repaired or repainted.


  4. #4
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    Good job there, Tosta.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Nice job!
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    Doesn't the government making rulings based on the law and not feelings just make sense.

    Ironically, it doesn't it give you a good feeling about your government when they act as they should.

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