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Thread: Frankilin County, VA from their Code of Conduct re parks/rec/sportsmanship

  1. #1
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Frankilin County, VA from their Code of Conduct re parks/rec/sportsmanship

    Discovered this little gem from Franklin County, VA.

    http://www.franklincountyva.org/park...rtsmanship.htm


    III. Misconduct Consequences

    4. Firearms:
    Neither firearms nor concealed weapons may be taken into any County sponsored or co-sponsored activity/facility (unless by official capacity). The penalty for such an infraction shall be a one (1) year ban exclusive of other prosecution as may be required.



    Email sent!


    edit:
    my email has been forwarded to the parks mgr.
    Last edited by Marco; 05-04-2011 at 02:21 PM. Reason: edit.

  2. #2
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    What prompted you to notice the Franklin County Code of Conduct?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    What prompted you to notice the Franklin County Code of Conduct?
    Yes, inquiring mindswant to know.

    On the other hand, freedom-loving citizens across Virginia applaud your action to correct that blatant disregard of the laws enacted by the General Assembly. Bunch of criminals, I say, in the Franklin County Parks & Rec Department.

    Take two non-racist atta-boys out of petty cash.

    stay safe.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    What prompted you to notice the Franklin County Code of Conduct?


    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Yes, inquiring mindswant to know.

    On the other hand, freedom-loving citizens across Virginia applaud your action to correct that blatant disregard of the laws enacted by the General Assembly. Bunch of criminals, I say, in the Franklin County Parks & Rec Department.

    Take two non-racist atta-boys out of petty cash.

    stay safe.

    I'll address the last part first, I know better than that.
    I was doing a firearms related search and it popped up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent19 View Post
    I'll address the last part first, I know better than that.
    I was doing a firearms related search and it popped up.
    Gotcha, thanks. It occurred to me while enjoying some throne time this afternoon that it might be a worthy cause for a half dozen or so folks to compile a list of all of the counties and independent cities in Virginia and work our way through their code ordinances to find and attempt to iradicate any known violations of state law with regard to existing restrictions on firearms. I suppose in a month or so we could probably knock out most of it with the right number of volunteers.
    Last edited by jmelvin; 05-04-2011 at 05:15 PM.

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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Then, there is the fun part

    I was researching the airgun laws for Henrico County when I hit a law restricting carry in County parks. After the alarm bells in my head were silenced, I checked again knowing that Henrico would not be that out of step. They weren't. The reference I first visited was out of date. The current code section had been corrected but the old one was still out on the web. Unfortunately, I did discover that air guns are restricted in areas zoned residential. So, until July1, I cannot shoot in the yard. By then, I will have a range set up that will reasonably prevent pellets from leaving my yard. I will also have the new state law printed out and posted at the corners of my yard.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    This is the email I received from the parks mgr.


    Mr. M –

    Actually, the Board of Supervisors adopted a change in this policy at their April meeting. The updated version follows. Please let me know if you have any questions.


    Firearms:
    Carrying of firearms and/or concealed weapons may only occur as allowed by federal, state, and local laws as they relate to any County sponsored or cosponsored activity/facility. Unlawful possession and/or use of such weapons will result in a minimum ban of one (1) year, exclusive of other prosecution as may be required.




    Michael Burnette
    Director
    Commerce & Leisure Services
    County of Franklin, Virginia
    1255 Franklin Street
    Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
    540.483.3030 (office)
    www.franklincountyva.org





    My response:


    Mr. Burnette,

    Thanks for the clarification. Is the website wording going to be changed, so it no longer conflicts with state law and continue to add confusion to the taxpayers?
    Is there no exemption for the lawful use (self defense) with regards to the ban from County parks and rec sponsored/co-sponsored activies?


    I look forward and appreciate your swift reply.

    Thanks,
    Marco

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent19 View Post
    This is the email I received from the parks mgr.


    Mr. M –

    Actually, the Board of Supervisors adopted a change in this policy at their April meeting. The updated version follows. Please let me know if you have any questions.


    Firearms:
    Carrying of firearms and/or concealed weapons may only occur as allowed by federal, state, and local laws as they relate to any County sponsored or cosponsored activity/facility. Unlawful possession and/or use of such weapons will result in a minimum ban of one (1) year, exclusive of other prosecution as may be required.




    Michael Burnette
    Director
    Commerce & Leisure Services
    County of Franklin, Virginia
    1255 Franklin Street
    Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
    540.483.3030 (office)
    www.franklincountyva.org

    My response:


    Mr. Burnette,

    Thanks for the clarification. Is the website wording going to be changed, so it no longer conflicts with state law and continue to add confusion to the taxpayers?
    Is there no exemption for the lawful use (self defense) with regards to the ban from County parks and rec sponsored/co-sponsored activies?


    I look forward and appreciate your swift reply.

    Thanks,
    Marco
    Actually, as I understand the reading of 15.2-915, that is still an illegal ordinance. They are not allowed to adopt any ordinance that is not explicitly authorized. Plain. Simple. If it's not authorized, then they can't write it. Even if it mirrors state code.

    That would be my reply.

    TFred

    PS: And this makes good sense in conjunction with Preemption as we know it. Even if localities write ordinances that mirror state code, when that state code changes, we know quite well that nobody follows up with local ordinances... you end up with the exact problem that Preemption was written to fix.
    Last edited by TFred; 05-05-2011 at 12:07 PM. Reason: Added PS

  9. #9
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Actually, as I understand the reading of 15.2-915, that is still an illegal ordinance. They are not allowed to adopt any ordinance that is not explicitly authorized. Plain. Simple. If it's not authorized, then they can't write it. Even if it mirrors state code.

    That would be my reply.

    TFred

    PS: And this makes good sense in conjunction with Preemption as we know it. Even if localities write ordinances that mirror state code, when that state code changes, we know quite well that nobody follows up with local ordinances... you end up with the exact problem that Preemption was written to fix.
    I don't believe this to be a County ordinance just nonsense from the Park and Rec Code of Conduct, but I could very well be wrong.

    Edit:
    Will look a little deeper
    Last edited by Marco; 05-05-2011 at 12:15 PM. Reason: edit.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Park Directors reply:

    Subject: RE: parks and rec
    Date: Thu, 5 May 2011 12:00:44 -0400


    Mr. M –



    My staff is working on making those changes to the website and policy manual as we speak. It should be done in short order. As to the use of firearms in a lawful way, I believe the statement that unlawful use requires a ban clearly implies that lawful use is permitted.



    Michael Burnette
    Director
    Commerce & Leisure Services
    County of Franklin, Virginia
    1255 Franklin Street
    Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
    540.483.3030 (office)
    www.franklincountyva.org



    MY reply:



    Mr. Burnette,


    Thanks again for the swift reply, I just wanted clarification.
    As to the rewrite, Actually, as I understand the reading of 15.2-915, that is still an illegal ordinance. You are not allowed to adopt any ordinance that is not explicitly authorized by the General Assembly with regards to firearms with the exception of discharging. Plain. Simple. If it's not authorized, then you can't write it.
    Even if it mirrors state code.

    Thanks again,

    Marco
    Last edited by Marco; 05-05-2011 at 12:29 PM. Reason: edit = to include my reply

  11. #11
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Well it'll be interesting to see their reply to that! Their best bet would be to simply remove the whole section and allow State Law to govern... that is the intent of preemption anyway.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Actually, as I understand the reading of 15.2-915, that is still an illegal ordinance. They are not allowed to adopt any ordinance that is not explicitly authorized. Plain. Simple. If it's not authorized, then they can't write it. Even if it mirrors state code.

    That would be my reply.

    TFred

    PS: And this makes good sense in conjunction with Preemption as we know it. Even if localities write ordinances that mirror state code, when that state code changes, we know quite well that nobody follows up with local ordinances... you end up with the exact problem that Preemption was written to fix.
    It's funny you mention this TFred. As I indicated in the Roanoke County Code thread I have been making my way through the codes of some of the localities around here. The City of Danville has multiple instances where they have ordinances that appear to mirror state restrictions on firearms carry. I've identified some of these, however I need to take note that I need to go back and identify all of them.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Well it'll be interesting to see their reply to that! Their best bet would be to simply remove the whole section and allow State Law to govern... that is the intent of preemption anyway.

    TFred
    Agreed!

    I imagine Mr. Burnette is consulting with the City/County attorney regarding the latest email.

    I'll post any/all replies.
    Last edited by Marco; 05-05-2011 at 01:29 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    Gotcha, thanks. It occurred to me while enjoying some throne time this afternoon that it might be a worthy cause for a half dozen or so folks to compile a list of all of the counties and independent cities in Virginia and work our way through their code ordinances to find and attempt to iradicate any known violations of state law with regard to existing restrictions on firearms. I suppose in a month or so we could probably knock out most of it with the right number of volunteers.
    Heh.... Best part is, if I did this over the Summer, I'd do it at work.

    My pay stub says State of VA.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbNo View Post
    My pay stub says State of VA.
    Never heard of it.

    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbNo View Post
    Heh.... Best part is, if I did this over the Summer, I'd do it at work.

    My pay stub says State of VA.
    When I had some free time / break time yesterday and the night before I went through about 12-14 county and city codes for the areas that I could immediately think of right around the Lynchburg area. I was fairly surprised to see a fair number of restrictions on the books and some that were pretty draconian even in areas like Farmville.

    Some of the codes were available at Municode.com and others are housed by the cities/couties on their own website and both of these types had search functions that would look across all code sections for the words I used, which were "gun", "firearm" and "weapon". Other codes were only available in individual sections in a .pdf format so I took a "reasonable approach" searching for these same 3 words in the the portions of the code that I thought were most likely to turn up a restriction such as in portions of the codes labeled something like the following: Offenses / Crimes, Nuisances, Hungting, Birds / Animals / Fowl, Parades, Festivals, Public Buildings, Schools, Airports and maybe a couple others.

    I have put my findings in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that lists what code, where I found it online, offending code sections, whether the code has any offensive wording, key-words and such. One thing that occurred to me as I was wrapping up the last of my searching was I regularly noted varying restrictions on the possession of firearms by minors, which may or may not have been the same as what the state provides for. If the state law is to be the only law applicable to possession of firearms by minors then these restrictions should be stricken as well.

  17. #17
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    [...] the words I used, which were "gun", "firearm" and "weapon".
    One trap you need to be careful of, the Municode search function only sometimes distinguishes between singular and plural versions of a word. It's rather bizarre, I have actually seen some of the code sections return hits with "firearms" when the search word was "firearm" but at the same time, other code sections that do not.

    Bottom line, you need to search for all versions of your words to be sure.

    TFred

  18. #18
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Mr. M –



    I wanted to get back to you on your concern. I have spoken with Jim Jefferson, County Attorney, and he advised me that his interpretation of the State Code does allow for the policy to be adopted as presented. As I am obviously not a lawyer, I invite you to talk with Mr. Jefferson if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks!



    Mike



    Michael Burnette
    Director
    Commerce & Leisure Services
    County of Franklin, Virginia
    1255 Franklin Street
    Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
    540.483.3030 (office)
    www.franklincountyva.org

  19. #19
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    The third part of preemption was inserted so that tin horn dictators would not do what they have done here.

    Take Franklin to the wood shed.

    Maybe others will learn from Franklin's mistake and comply without all of this silly wordsmithing instead of deleting the code.

    VCDL usually has good luck in fixing recalcitrant knuckleheads, sometimes with reason, sometimes by attendig town council meetings while OCing, but eventually most get it.
    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

  20. #20
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent19 View Post
    Mr. M –



    I wanted to get back to you on your concern. I have spoken with Jim Jefferson, County Attorney, and he advised me that his interpretation of the State Code does allow for the policy to be adopted as presented. As I am obviously not a lawyer, I invite you to talk with Mr. Jefferson if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks!



    Mike



    Michael Burnette
    Director
    Commerce & Leisure Services
    County of Franklin, Virginia
    1255 Franklin Street
    Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
    540.483.3030 (office)
    www.franklincountyva.org
    Were you provided with Mr. Jefferson's contact information? I would certainly love to hear how he has managed to convince himself that an ordinance that clearly governs the carrying of firearms does not violate:

    "A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, ... governing the ... carrying ... of firearms ... other than those expressly authorized by statute."

    I would simply ask him to cite the statute that expressly authorizes their ordinance.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    I would simply ask him to cite the statute that expressly authorizes their ordinance.
    +1. That seems like it would be a good approach...

  22. #22
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    First Posting...

    Hi Everyone, I've been looking at this site for some time now and have finally decided to join and post to the forums.

    I am a resident of Franklin County, VA and the interpretation by Jim Jefferson, my counties attorney, troubles me because I believe he is clearly either giving incorrect legal interpretation of the law or Michael Burnette never spoke to Jim Jefferson and hopes a quick email will be taken as the truth and the matter not brought up again. (That's how it works with so many things in my county. I promise I won't get started on building permits)

    Of course, Jim Jefferson could be anti-OC or anti-gun altogether, therefore giving incorrect legal advise to county employees based on personal beliefs and not actual State Law. I too would like to know what statute expressly authorizes this ordinance. If there actually is a statute that expressly authorizes this ordinance I will gladly stand corrected and then work to have the statute removed from law.

    Here is Jim Jefferson's contact information...

    James B. Jefferson
    5 E. Court St. #101
    Rocky Mount, VA 24151
    (540) 483-7475
    Last edited by Revolver; 05-17-2011 at 11:36 PM.

  23. #23
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolver View Post
    Hi Everyone, I've been looking at this site for some time now and have finally decided to join and post to the forums.

    I am a resident of Franklin County, VA and the interpretation by Jim Jefferson, my counties attorney, troubles me because I believe he is clearly either giving incorrect legal interpretation of the law or Michael Burnette never spoke to Jim Jefferson and hopes a quick email will be taken as the truth and the matter not brought up again. (That's how it works with so many things in my county. I promise I won't get started on building permits)

    Of course, Jim Jefferson could be anti-OC or anti-gun altogether, therefore giving incorrect legal advise to county employees based on personal beliefs and not actual State Law. I too would like to know what statute that expressly authorizes this ordinance. If there actually is a statute that expressly authorizes this ordinance I will gladly stand corrected and then work to have the statute removed from law.

    Here is Jim Jefferson's contact information...

    James B. Jefferson
    5 E. Court St. #101
    Rocky Mount, VA 24151
    (540) 483-7475
    Welcome to OCDO!

    Of course there is no statue that authorizes this local ordinance*. We could speculate all day on why the attorney responded as he did... but yes, apparently more pressure will be needed.

    TFred

    * If there was, then every anti-gun city/county/town in the state would have such laws, and the preemption statute would be worthless.
    Last edited by TFred; 05-17-2011 at 11:40 PM. Reason: ETA: *

  24. #24
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolver View Post
    Hi Everyone, I've been looking at this site for some time now and have finally decided to join and post to the forums.

    I am a resident of Franklin County, VA and the interpretation by Jim Jefferson, my counties attorney, troubles me because I believe he is clearly either giving incorrect legal interpretation of the law or Michael Burnette never spoke to Jim Jefferson and hopes a quick email will be taken as the truth and the matter not brought up again. (That's how it works with so many things in my county. I promise I won't get started on building permits)

    Of course, Jim Jefferson could be anti-OC or anti-gun altogether, therefore giving incorrect legal advise to county employees based on personal beliefs and not actual State Law. I too would like to know what statute expressly authorizes this ordinance. If there actually is a statute that expressly authorizes this ordinance I will gladly stand corrected and then work to have the statute removed from law.

    Here is Jim Jefferson's contact information...

    James B. Jefferson
    5 E. Court St. #101
    Rocky Mount, VA 24151
    (540) 483-7475

    Welcome to OCDO.

    As a Franklin county res you might consider contacting the park dir and the City Atty and express your concerns.
    I'm not a res. of that county nor do I plan to be one, but I view this as a problem.

    IMHO, I believe when these things are discovered all freedom loving citizens should contact the offfending public servant/s and express our displeasure, especially when they are slow to act or knowingly drag their feet.






    From: Marco
    Sent: Thu 5/19/11 7:48 AM
    To: mburnette@franklincountyva.org
    Cc: chapgood@franklincountyva.org; ehunt@franklincountyva.org; larrymoore@franklincountyva.org; rhuff@franklincountyva.org



    Mr Burnette,

    I appreciate you getting back to me.
    Since you didn't provide me with Mr. Jefferson's email and I can't seem to find one on Frankiln Counties website could you please pose this question to him or forward our emails to him.

    I would simply ask him to cite the statute that expressly authorizes the counties ordinance.

    Taken from 15.2-915:
    "A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, ... governing the ... carrying ... of firearms ... other than those expressly authorized by statute."

    C. In addition to any other relief provided, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and court costs to any person, group, or entity that prevails in an action challenging (i) an ordinance, resolution, or motion as being in conflict with this section or (ii) an administrative action taken in bad faith as being in conflict with this section.


    A link to 15.2-915 is provided.


    Thanks,
    Marco

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Here you go Marco:

    Since you didn't provide me with Mr. Jefferson's email and I can't seem to find one on Frankiln Counties website could you please pose this question to him or forward our emails
    jeffersonbjames@yahoo.com



    James B Jefferson Attorney,

    Barry James Jefferson
    5 E Court Street # 101
    Rocky Mount, VA 24151-1761 map
    Website: Information not found Phone: (540) 483-7475



    About James B Jefferson Attorney


    James B Jefferson Attorney in Rocky Mount, VA is a private company categorized under Legal Services. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of less than $500,000 and employs a staff of approximately 1 to 4. Companies like James B Jefferson Attorney usually offer: Ip Attorneys, Law Offices, Attorneys At Law, Divorce Law Firm and General Practice Attorneys.

    Last edited by peter nap; 05-19-2011 at 11:56 AM.

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