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Thread: VA-ALERT: ACTION ITEM: Loudoun County

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    The Loudoun County Public Safety Committee is going to meet tomorrow
    (Wednesday, May 27th) at 4 PM to consider items dealing with amending
    County ordinances dealing with firearms. **Loudoun members are
    encouraged to attend the meeting and speak out.** I am going to try
    to be there.

    The Committee is considering several options - some of which are very
    bad.

    Here are the options, which can be recommend either individually or as
    any subset:

    1. To change ordinance 684.01 to bring it into compliance with
    Virginia Code, which allows the County to regulation LOADED rifles and
    shotguns in vehicles. The County CANNOT regulate loaded HANDGUNS in
    vehicles. VCDL is NEUTRAL on this option.

    2. To change ordinance 1092.20 to bring it into compliance with
    Virginia Code, which allows the County to control firearms discharge
    (in this case around parks and recreation facilities), but not
    regulate the CARRY of firearms. VCDL is NEUTRAL on this option.

    3. Not to change either of the ordinances. This would mean that
    Loudoun County would have ordinances on the books that are preempted
    and VCDL STRONGLY OPPOSES this option. VCDL will consider taking
    legal action against the County after July 1st if this option is taken.

    4. To completely repeal ordinance 1092.20 (currently bans carry and
    discharge of guns in parks and recreational facilities) and let state
    law prevail. VCDL SUPPORTS this idea.

    5. To lobby the General Assembly to give Loudoun an exception to the
    preemption laws so the County can ban guns at will within County Parks
    and Recreational facilities. VCDL STRONGLY OPPOSES this option. The
    General Assembly won't be accepting of it, either, based on similar
    requests from Fairfax and Newport News. The worst tyranny is often at
    the local level.

    6. To lobby the General Assembly to repeal the new law that lets VCDL
    and others get their legal fees back if they prevail in suing a
    locality over preempted gun laws. VCDL STRONGLY OPPOSES this option.
    The only reason the County would want to do this is if they plan on
    keeping preempted laws on the books to confuse citizens and to do so
    with impunity.

    7. To ban non-firearm weapons only. This includes banning "concealed
    slingshots!" VCDL OPPOSES this option. By going this route, Loudoun
    County would show that it doesn't understand the proper position of
    local government in the machinery of freedom. Banning one weapon or
    another does not make citizens safer.

    The meeting is being held at 4 PM at:

    Public Safety/Human Services Committee
    Lovettsville Room
    1 Harrison Street
    Leesburg
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    I dunno if I'll be able to get out of work early, but I'll TRY to be there. 4PM is really difficult.





  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Cavymeister wrote:
    I dunno if I'll be able to get out of work early, but I'll TRY to be there. 4PM is really difficult.
    forme too, but I will try.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    I definitely won't make it to a 4PM meeting in Leesburg. In lieu of that, I have e-mailed the members of the Public Safety and Human Services Committee (Stevens Miller, Eugene Delgaudio, and Andrea McGimsey).

    I know, Ed, you think 'weapon' is a dirty word. I used the word numerous times in my e-mail.

    Dear Supervisors,

    I am writing to you regarding item #8 on your agenda for the May 27th meeting of the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, Gun Ordinance Technical Changes and Research Effort.

    I am a Loudoun County, Virginia resident and a United States citizen. I urge you to amend county ordinances to be in compliance with State law; And not to adopt new nor change any existing ordinances to prohibit any weapons from being carried by law-abiding citizens, for the purposes of self-defense throughout Loudoun County, where allowed by State law. Infringing upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms in their own parks and community centers does not make anyone more safe. In fact it makes us less safe by putting law-abiding citizens at the mercy of armed criminals.

    There are already existing laws that prohibit the criminal use of weapons, such as Virginia code section 18.2-282 and many more. If the person carrying a weapon has no criminal intent, they should not be treated as a criminal.

    Kind Regards,
    Name
    Address

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    virginiatuck wrote:
    I know, Ed, you think 'weapon' is a dirty word. I used the word numerous times in my e-mail.
    At least ya wrote in.

    I plan on being there. OC of course.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    I plan on seeing you there, Ed.

    ~ Boyd

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    TexasNative wrote:
    I plan on seeing you there, Ed.

    ~ Boyd
    You are a beautiful man.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    ed wrote:
    You are a beautiful man.
    That's what I keep telling the ladies, but they don't seem to be listening.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Does anyone know how it went?

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    Regular Member nemo's Avatar
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    Well, yes and no.

    Motion #1 passed 3-0 and motion #2 passed 2-0, but only the people at the table had copies of the agenda, and I could barely hear what was being said (one guy was very soft-spoken, and I was seated in the worst spot in the room: next to the door, which was in constant, noisy use).

    I think that motion #1 was option #1 on the VCDL letter, and that motion #2 was option #4, but I am not sure.

    One committee member (Delgatti?) presented the VCDL information and asked for a show of hands of VCDL members present (I was in front, so could not get a full count, but it looked like at least a half dozen). On the other hand, he was the one who voted against motion #2, because he was not allowed (correctly, from the sound of it) to add a motion of his own to state, in the words of the chairman, that it is not against the law to do something that is legal.

    This action now goes before a full committee for another vote at an unspecified time.

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    nemo wrote:
    Well, yes and no.

    Motion #1 passed 3-0 and motion #2 passed 2-0, but only the people at the table had copies of the agenda, and I could barely hear what was being said (one guy was very soft-spoken, and I was seated in the worst spot in the room: next to the door, which was in constant, noisy use).

    I think that motion #1 was option #1 on the VCDL letter, and that motion #2 was option #4, but I am not sure.

    One committee member (Delgatti?) presented the VCDL information and asked for a show of hands of VCDL members present (I was in front, so could not get a full count, but it looked like at least a half dozen). On the other hand, he was the one who voted against motion #2, because he was not allowed (correctly, from the sound of it) to add a motion of his own to state, in the words of the chairman, that it is not against the law to do something that is legal.

    This action now goes before a full committee for another vote at an unspecified time.
    The soft spoken guy and chair of that safety committee was Stevens Miller.. The guy that read the VCDL letter was Eugene Delgaudio. Eugene wanted to add words to the motion that allowed for the LAWFUL DISCHARGE of firearms in the case of self defense, etc. Stevens said "if it is lawful discharge" then we don't need a law to make it lawful, etc. Eugene and Stevens went back and forth a little bit like a ping pong ball and both were getting flustered. My supervisor Andrea McGimsey kind of sat by and watched. Jim Burton would love for more gun laws to be created (I think in his district there might still be some signs in parks that say NO GUNS). He does not want that control taken away and durring the ping-pong patch he looked at his watch and left.

    Ed
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    The first vote was to merely change the title of one ordinance, since it didn't match the ordinance itself. It was a non-issue for us.

    The second vote was the substantive one, and was to make some changes to the "firearms in the park" ordinance which would remove carry restrictions while keeping the discharge prohibitions. This is what will go to the whole Board of Supervisors for their vote, probably in July. I plan have a more comprehensive, detailed post on this a bit later.

    And Jim Burton isn't on the Public Safety and Human Services Committee. He just happened to be there for the sewage issue. His back-and-forth with Eugene Delgaudio likely had more to do with his general friction with Eugene than over the issue at hand.

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    Regular Member nemo's Avatar
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    TexasNative wrote:
    The first vote was to merely change the title of one ordinance, since it didn't match the ordinance itself. It was a non-issue for us.
    Thanks; that's what I thought.

    TexasNative wrote:
    The second vote was the substantive one, and was to make some changes to the "firearms in the park" ordinance which would remove carry restrictions while keeping the discharge prohibitions. This is what will go to the whole Board of Supervisors for their vote, probably in July. I plan have a more comprehensive, detailed post on this a bit later.
    Thanks; I look forward to the details.

    TexasNative wrote:
    And Jim Burton isn't on the Public Safety and Human Services Committee. He just happened to be there for the sewage issue.
    Is he the one who left early? If he is not on the committee, then why was he interrupting the meeting with his questions?
    TexasNative wrote:
    His back-and-forth with Eugene Delgaudio likely had more to do with his general friction with Eugene than over the issue at hand.
    I kinda got that impression, too, when he said: "Why don't you answer my question?" And then he left, without getting his answer.

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    Regular Member nemo's Avatar
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    ed wrote:
    The soft spoken guy and chair of that safety committee was Stevens Miller.. The guy that read the VCDL letter was Eugene Delgaudio. Eugene wanted to add words to the motion that allowed for the LAWFUL DISCHARGE of firearms in the case of self defense, etc. Stevens said "if it is lawful discharge" then we don't need a law to make it lawful, etc. Eugene and Stevens went back and forth a little bit like a ping pong ball and both were getting flustered. My supervisor Andrea McGimsey kind of sat by and watched. Jim Burton would love for more gun laws to be created (I think in his district there might still be some signs in parks that say NO GUNS). He does not want that control taken away and durring the ping-pong patch he looked at his watch and left.
    Ed
    Ed,

    Which one were you? And don't say that if I would go the dinners, then I would know. I looked for a familiar face, but saw none, and saw no one who was OC'ing, either.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Stevens Miller actually replied to me today:
    Thanks for your thoughts. We voted last night at the Public Safety Committee to recommend changes that will bring local law into compliance with state law. No further restrictions were proposed.

    Best, Stevens

    Stevens Miller Supervisor, Dulles District
    Loudoun County Board of Supervisors

  16. #16
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    nemo wrote:
    Ed,

    Which one were you? And don't say that if I would go the dinners, then I would know. I looked for a familiar face, but saw none, and saw no one who was OC'ing, either.

    if you would just go to the...

    I was in the front row OCing.. next to another guy OCing (that works for Fairfax Water but lives in Loudoun that was next to another guy (named Boyd) but goes by TexasNative or Squid.

    Then we all stood outside and spoke to the sheriff for a bit.. which one were YOU?



    Ed

    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Now that the forums are back up, here's my summary from yesterday afternoon:

    [line]
    The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors' Public Safety and Human Services Committee meeting yesterday afternoon was interesting, and for me, raised more questions than it answered.

    The backstory is that the County staff was made aware of the passage of HB 1655, allowing a court to award reasonable attorney fees to any entity that prevails in a lawsuit challenging an ordinance as being in conflict with ยง15.2-916 (the preemption statute). Back in April, the staff recommended to the Board of Supervisors that they delete the "firearms in parks" ordinance in its entirety. While no member of the public spoke against that recommendation, a couple of the supervisors apparently wanted to retain some sort of control, so they sent the change back for the staff to rewrite the ordinance to retain control over discharge of weapons while eliminating any reference to their carry. Then the change was to go through this PS&HS committee before returning to the Board.

    So, here is the change as presented to, and ultimately passed by, the committee (deleted portions surrounded by [deleted] tags, added language in italics:

    1092.20 [deleted]CARRYING OR[/deleted] DISCHARGING WEAPONS. The [deleted]carrying or [/deleted]discharging[deleted], in any park or community center,[/deleted]of any firearm, pneumatic gun, [deleted]air gun, gas gun, spring-operated gun, BB gun, [/deleted]slingshot, dart device or bow and arrow in any public park or community center is prohibited, except as specifically authorized by the Department of Parks and Recreation in connection with a supervised recreational activity or except as may be required [deleted]carried by [/deleted]by a duly authorized law enforcement officer. (Ord. 85-12. Passed 9-16-85.)
    Mr. Delgaudio tried to introduce an amendment which would create exceptions for specific types of discharge. Since he didn't submit anything to the committee in advance, I don't have the exact wording he used, but basically the exceptions would be for sport shooting (such as at a range), hunting and self-defense. Mr. Miller, with Ms. McGimsey nodding in agreement, objected to presenting a relatively extensive oral amendment at the meeting without giving the other committee members a chance to read and consider the change in advance. Mr. Delgaudio's amendment failed by a 1-2 vote.

    By the way, the above changes passed on a 2-1 vote, with Mr. Delgaudio dissenting because it didn't include his proposed amendment.

    My problem with the change as passed by the committee is that a reasonable discharge of your gun would still be unlawful. One could make the argument that the phrase "...except as specifically authorized by the Department of Parks and Recreation in connection with a supervised recreational activity..." would cover hunting and other recreational activities, but firing a gun in a park in defense of one's self or others would remain unlawful, and is probably the mostly likely reason someone would be carrying in a park to begin with.

    As Mr. Miller told Mr. Delgaudio, he can propose his amendment (or any other amendment) to the ordinance at the full Board meeting, likely to be held in July, but that Mr. Delgaudio should be sure to submit the amendment in writing so that he doesn't run into the same problem he had at the committee. Makes sense to me.

    I don't understand what problem they're trying to solve with this ordinance. As passed, the ordinance makes no allowance for any weapons discharge that isn't approved in advance by the Loudoun County DPR. My question is, are there situations where the undesireable discharge of weapons isn't already prohibited by state law or regulation?

    And my last question is, what's the penalty for this unlawful/unauthorized discharge of the firearm? The committee package didn't include that information.

    ~ Boyd

  18. #18
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    here are their documents:
    Carry On.

    Ed

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  19. #19
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    and..
    Carry On.

    Ed

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  20. #20
    Regular Member nemo's Avatar
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    ed wrote:
    I was in the front row OCing.. next to another guy OCing (that works for Fairfax Water but lives in Loudoun that was next to another guy (named Boyd) but goes by TexasNative or Squid.
    Then we all stood outside and spoke to the sheriff for a bit.. which one were YOU?
    Ed,

    Well, for one thing, I was the second one out the door, in a blue striped shirt and yellow tie, who held the door open for half the rest who followed. I talked with a few guys right outside the door for a few minutes, then left. I saw the group talking with the sheriff (one guy was laughing about the chairman talking about clips instead of magazines), but the only one I saw OCing was the sheriff. You weren't carrying a mouse-gun, were you? Those can be real hard to see.

  21. #21
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    nemo wrote:
    one guy was laughing about the chairman talking about clips instead of magazines
    that could have been me :-)

    Here is a pic of me with the Sheriff at another event at the Sheriff's Office. I am on the left and he is on the right. (I did notget any weird looks inside the sheriffs office even with my big yellow visitor badge)

    Ed


    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    And my last question is, what's the penalty for this unlawful/unauthorized discharge of the firearm? The committee package didn't include that information.

    ~ Boyd
    Loudoun County Ordinance
    202.99
    GENERAL CODE PENALTY.
    Whoever violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of these Codified Ordinances, including any provision of any standard, technical or other code adopted by reference in these Codified Ordinances, and including any rule or regulation promulgated under authority of any such standard, technical or other code adopted by reference in these Codified Ordinances, or under authority of any other provision of these Codified Ordinances, or under authority of State law, for which no penalty is otherwise provided, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) or imprisoned not more than twelve months, or both, plus costs of prosecution, for each offense. Unless otherwise provided, a separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation or noncompliance occurs or continues. The penalty provided for herein shall be in addition to any equitable remedy or surcharge provided in these Codified Ordinances or in any rule or regulation promulgated under authority of these Codified Ordinances or under authority of any standard, technical or other code adopted by reference in these Codified Ordinances or under authority of State law. (Ord. 95-06. Passed 8-2-95.)

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