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Thread: Portsmouth Gun Ban - eMail the City Council

  1. #1
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Portsmouth, VA currently has a gun ban for City lakes. Shame on them. I have provided a link so that you may express your displeasure with the Portsmouth City Council.

    The Gun Ban:

    Sec. 38-366. Regulations applicable to city owned land adjoining city lakes and shores.

    (e)No person shall carry or possess any firearms, or BB or pellet gun or paint-ball gun on a city lake unless expressly authorized by the director of public utilities in writing, unless such person is a state, local or federal law enforcement officer or game warden acting in the performance of their official duties.

    Link: http://library1.municode.com/default...ction=whatsnew



    The law is also part of their Fishing Regulationsbrochure. Here is the regulation:

    The use or possession of alcoholic beverages and/or
    firearms on the lakes or watershed areas is prohibited.

    Link: http://www.portsmouthva.gov/forms/fishpermit.pdf



    Here is what I sent to the City Council:

    Illegal Prohibition of Firearms on City Lakes

    The City of Portsmouth currently has an ordnance Section 38.366 (e) which prohibits the possession of firearms on city lakes. The City of Portsmouth does not have the authority to enact or maintain such an ordinance. Please remove this ordinance that is offensive to Law Abiding Gun owners at your next City Council Meeting.

    Click on the contactlink to send a message to Portsmouth

    Contact Link: http://www.portsmouthva.gov/contact.php




    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    I cant find a cite off the top of my google search, but maybe include the state preemption cite for proof as to why its illegal.



    ** HERE WE GO**

    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.

  3. #3
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    Here is what I sent to the City Council:

    The City of Portsmouth currently has an ordnance Section 38.366 (e) which prohibits the possession of firearms on city lakes. The City of Portsmouth does not have the authority to enact or maintain such an ordinance due to state preemption law (15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies.) Please remove this illegal firearm law in your next City Council meeting.

  4. #4
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    I just recently stumbled upon a similar thing.

    Henrico County has an ordinance that makes possession of teflon coated ammunition a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    I've notified the appropriate parties and I'm awaiting a follow-up reply.


    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  5. #5
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    We ought to form a new group dedicated to the erradication of illegal gun laws in Virginia.

    Citizens Against Illegal Gun Bans (CAIGB)

    or Maybe..

    Citizens Against Infringement in Virginia(CAIV) pronounced cave
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Thundar wrote:
    We ought to form a new group dedicated to the erradication of illegal gun laws in Virginia.

    Citizens Against Illegal Gun Bans (CAIGB)

    or Maybe..

    Citizens Against Infringement in Virginia (CAIV) pronounced cave
    Yeah.... It is so nice to see some sort of pro gun activism.... I got so used to CA and seeing more of the opposite....

  7. #7
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    How about this:
    It has come to my attention that the political subdivision of Portsmouth VA has in its code of ordinances a section which violates the Virginia State Code Section 15.2-915, where local municipalities are forbidden from restricting lawful firearms carry. The offending city code section, 38-366 illegally restricts citizens from carrying firearms on city property, in direct violation of state code.

    This violation also appears to have been duplicated in the 2009 City Fishing Regulations.

    Please be advised that it is in Portsmouth's best interest to remove the offending section from the code before someone is cited for a non-enforceable ordinance violation. As of this year, citizens have the option to seek civil damages for infringements of their protected rights and municipal entities can be held liable for such damages.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    Just sent to City Council

    It has come to my attention that the City of Portsmouth currently has an ordnance Section 38.366 (e) which prohibits the possession of firearms on city lakes. The City of Portsmouth does not have the authority to enact or maintain such an ordinance due to state preemption law (15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies.) Please remove this illegal firearm law in your next City Council meeting.

    Should this need to go to court the City of Portsmouth will surely loose and under Virginia law may very well be liable for paying the costs of the plaintiffs too!
    Yes I carry a Bible and a Gun, your point.
    Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (meaning: "A defence of liberty against tyrants")
    Benjamin Franklin said, "A government that does not trust it's citizens with guns is a government that should not be trusted."



  9. #9
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    This makes me happy. VCDL is going to the Portsmouth City Council Next week to chastize the Mayor for being a member of MAIG.

    Now, we can take him to the woodshed for having an illegal gun ban as well. :celebrate
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Thundar wrote:
    Now, we can take him to the woodshed for having an illegal gun ban as well.
    As much fun as that sounds like, it cannot be immediately considered that this ordinance did not predate the state code revision and may have been overlooked as a clerical error or, due to its being buried in an obscure section of the code (who would think to look in the Public Works/Waterways section) it may have been overlooked.

    Prudence dictates that we bring it to the city's attention. Decorum dictates that we afford them the opportunity to make it right without accusing them of deliberately infringing our rights.

    I tried to make my message as neutral-sounding as possible while still implying urgency for them to correct the mistake.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  11. #11
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    wylde007 wrote:
    Thundar wrote:
    Now, we can take him to the woodshed for having an illegal gun ban as well.
    As much fun as that sounds like, it cannot be immediately considered that this ordinance did not predate the state code revision and may have been overlooked as a clerical error or, due to its being buried in an obscure section of the code (who would think to look in the Public Works/Waterways section) it may have been overlooked.

    Prudence dictates that we bring it to the city's attention. Decorum dictates that we afford them the opportunity to make it right without accusing them of deliberately infringing our rights.

    I tried to make my message as neutral-sounding as possible while still implying urgency for them to correct the mistake.
    I agree, I don't think it is wise to assume this is an intentional violation of the law. They are obviously well informed now, so give them a chance to fix it. Further communication from multiple people just makes their job harder, and does not win any friends for the cause, and probably quite the opposite...

    I don't know about Portsmouth, but my city has to read new ordinances twice (in subsequent council meetings) before they can take effect. This isn't something you can just change at a moment's notice.

    JMHO...

    TFred


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    I got a reply from my email to the City council:

    Mr. XXX,



    Please provide your mailing address in order for your note to be forwarded to the City Council.



    Thank you,

    Debra White

    City Clerk

    I dont live in Portsmouth, but I dont know if that would even matter, any thoughts?

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    cbackous wrote:
    I got a reply from my email to the City council:

    Mr. XXX,



    Please provide your mailing address in order for your note to be forwarded to the City Council.



    Thank you,

    Debra White

    City Clerk

    I dont live in Portsmouth, but I dont know if that would even matter, any thoughts?
    I got the same email. Looks like they may be trying to weed out the emails not from constituents. My reply to her is:

    Ms. White

    I really don't see what difference my mailing address makes, unless you think that only Portsmouth residents should point out discrepancies to City Council. But my address is PO Box XXX, Accomac, VA 23301. My phone number is 757-XXX-XXXX.

    John Xxxxxx
    Town Councilman
    Accomac, VA

    Yes I carry a Bible and a Gun, your point.
    Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (meaning: "A defence of liberty against tyrants")
    Benjamin Franklin said, "A government that does not trust it's citizens with guns is a government that should not be trusted."



  14. #14
    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    VCDL is going to the Portsmouth City Council Next week to chastize the Mayor for being a member of MAIG.
    Might be a good time to point out to them how close Bloomy came to losing his re-election bid yesterday, despite spending gobs of his own money. Perhaps his constituents want him to spend more time worrying about real, local problems.

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    Wolf_shadow wrote:
    cbackous wrote:
    I got a reply from my email to the City council:

    Mr. XXX,



    Please provide your mailing address in order for your note to be forwarded to the City Council.



    Thank you,

    Debra White

    City Clerk

    I dont live in Portsmouth, but I dont know if that would even matter, any thoughts?
    I got the same email. Looks like they may be trying to weed out the emails not from constituents. My reply to her is:

    Ms. White

    I really don't see what difference my mailing address makes, unless you think that only Portsmouth residents should point out discrepancies to City Council. But my address is PO Box XXX, Accomac, VA 23301. My phone number is 757-XXX-XXXX.

    John Xxxxxx
    Town Councilman
    Accomac, VA
    I gave a similar statement and my address here in Hampton.. we will see what happens.

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    Agreed, Might be good to mention this and give them a chance to make the correction. I'm planning on trying to attend the Portsmouth meeting as well.

    Don't forget there has been a group of anti's at the last two.... might be interesting to see their take when this fact is brought up as well.



  17. #17
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    I just emailed them:

    As a resident of Portsmouth I was disappointed to find out that the City of Portsmouth has an illegal prohibition of firearms on city lakes, on the books:

    Sec. 38-366. Regulations applicable to city owned land adjoining city lakes and shores.

    (e) No person shall carry or possess any firearms, or BB or pellet gun or paint-ball gun on a city lake unless expressly authorized by the director of public utilities in writing, unless such person is a state, local or federal law enforcement officer or game warden acting in the performance of their official duties.

    State law dictates:
    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.

    The city of Portsmouth has no authority to enact or enforce such a law. I know you have been getting emails from Virginia residents from all over the state. I want to assure you that dismissing their concerns because they are not residents of Portsmouth would be a grave mistake. I am a resident of Portsmouth and City Council has now been put on notice by a resident of Portsmouth. I will be at the next City Council meeting, Tuesday November 10th to address this very subject have this illegal ban removed from the books.

    Thank you,
    Dennis XXXXX

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    If you write, and you're not a resident, it may be good to point out if you frequent parks/businesses within Portsmouth.

    Don't have to be a resident to find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you are there. In fact, it may be more likely since anybody from outside Portsmouth is less likely to know about this, and more likely to assume the none of these inconsistencies exist since there is a state law that covers it.

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    DocKen wrote:
    If you write, and you're not a resident, it may be good to point out if you frequent parks/businesses within Portsmouth.

    Don't have to be a resident to find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you are there. In fact, it may be more likely since anybody from outside Portsmouth is less likely to know about this, and more likely to assume the none of these inconsistencies exist since there is a state law that covers it.
    Agreed...however, I think they'll be less apt to drag their feet on it knowing a resident is aware and watching them.

  20. #20
    Regular Member IanB's Avatar
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    Maybe y'all should politely remind them that regardless of WHERE you liveYOU have the ability to sue them to remove the illegal ban, and you MAY be awarded reasonable attorneys fees.

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    nakedshoplifter wrote:
    Maybe y'all should politely remind them that regardless of WHERE you liveYOU have the ability to sue them to remove the illegal ban, and you MAY be awarded reasonable attorneys fees.
    Indeed. This might be my reply/response to future questions like this.

  22. #22
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    With proper wording of any correspondence, we can play two roles here, and that is not a bad thing.

    First, we can get an onerous, illegal law off the books. The city does not care one way or the other about this.

    Second, we can warn the city that their illegal law is exposing them to potential liability to cover the legal expenses for both sides of a lawsuit which they will lose. The city will care greatly about this.

    A carefully worded letter can politely tackle both positions and be a win-win for all involved.

    TFred


  23. #23
    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    nakedshoplifter wrote:
    Maybe y'all should politely remind them that regardless of WHERE you liveYOU have the ability to sue them to remove the illegal ban, and you MAY be awarded reasonable attorneys fees.
    I was thinking the same idea. Maybe include the code that states they may have to pay all fees related to the illegal code.

  24. #24
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    Looks like Portsmouth got a lot of letters about this. Form letter that has some extra copy in it, but the result is the same. Maybe a visit on the 24th is in order?I received the below note back from them this morning:

    Thank you for bringing this concern to the members of the Portsmouth City Council's attention.

    It is the intention of the City Council to consider repealing the referenced ordinance at it's November 24th Meeting.

    If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Portsmouth City Council.

    Thank you, Thank you for bringing this concern to the members of the Portsmouth City Council's attention.

    It is the intention of the City Council to consider repealing the referenced ordinance at it's November 24th Meeting.

    If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Portsmouth City Council.

    Thank you,
    Debra White
    City Clerk


    Debra White


  25. #25
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    nakedshoplifter wrote:
    Maybe y'all should politely remind them that regardless of WHERE you liveYOU have the ability to sue them to remove the illegal ban, and you MAY be awarded reasonable attorneys fees.
    I wonder if that will teach them a lesson? See what the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors did:

    Gloucester supervisors stick taxpayers with $343,000 legal bill

    Four members of the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors voted early Wednesday morning to spend $343,000 in taxpayer funds to pay legal bills they incurred over the past two years.

    The $343,000 included fees the supervisors rung up with lawyers who billed as much as $575 an hour to defend them against petitions seeking their removal from office, as well as indictments issued by a special grand jury in July 2008 accusing them of holding secret meetings following the 2007 election and other charges.

    The supervisors also voted 4-3 to withdraw an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court of $171,000 in fees a judge ordered the county to pay to cover the costs the four board members incurred to fight the petitions calling for their removal from office. Theberge, Rilee and Allen voted 3-0 on Oct. 20 to appeal the sanctions. The other four supervisors abstained from voting that night, saying they needed time to review a state attorney general's advisory opinion on whether voting to pay their own legal bills with taxpayer money broached state conflict of interest laws.

    The meeting, which began at 7 p.m. Wednesday, lasted until 1 a.m. Thursday. It was reminiscent of the Jan. 2-3, 2008, Board of Supervisors meeting that spawned two years of political turmoil in Gloucester, with no end in sight.

    Paying the fees works out to about $10 for every man, woman and child in Gloucester.

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