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Appomattox County becomes second Virginia locality to pass ‘No Local Gun-Control’ resolution

Appomattox County becomes second Virginia locality to pass ‘No Local Gun-Control’ resolution

APPOMATTOX — After more than 100 Virginia localities declared themselves a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” last year, a second wave of local opposition to recent gun control laws has emerged in the form of a new resolution.

Monday night, Appomattox County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution to express its continued opposition to any laws restricting the second amendment, decrying a law that went into effect on July 1 that allows local governments to ban guns and ammunition in government buildings and public areas — such as public parks and community centers.

According to the resolution, Appomattox County declares it will not exercise any authority granted to it by the law allowing local governments to restrict guns.

Patrick County passed a similar resolution last week, making Appomattox County the second Virginia locality to adopt the “No Local Gun-Control” resolution. Several other localities across the state plan to consider the topic in coming weeks, including Amherst County which was slated to discuss the issue Tuesday night.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, is disseminating the resolutions to localities and said he expects a surge similar to the initial “Second Amendment Sanctuary” resolution — with shows of support rippling across the state.

“What other of our civil rights do we have that localities can carve up?” Van Cleave said. “We don’t let these localities take our basic civil rights and do with them what they please. It’s only the Second Amendment. When it comes to guns, that’s when the rules go out the window … we’re not going to let them get away with it.”

Falling River District Supervisor John Hinkle requested the resolution be discussed by the Appomattox board and said it was crucial to let the community know the county will not “put any additional burdens” on residents.

“It’s a second wave,” Hinkle said of the resolution. “It’s at the heart of all of central Virginia and rural Virginia, and what the cities want to apply to them, restricts us.”

Already, the city of Alexandria took advantage of the ordinance, banning guns and ammunition from city buildings and parks, as well as from recreation and community centers. Most civilians carrying guns cannot stand on streets and sidewalks adjacent from special events, or they will be subject to a first-degree misdemeanor charge as of July 1.

Hinkle said he received more than a dozen calls from residents advocating for the resolution, and though the turnout was nothing compared to the standing-room-only rush of hundreds that showed up to support the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution in November, the resolution drew a handful of residents silently showing support Monday night.

Among these residents was Christian Raymond, Appomattox Republican Committee chairman, who called the resolution the logical “next step” after the sanctuary efforts.

Raymond said the law could “politicize tourism,” creating a patchwork of different local ordinances that contradict one another from locality to locality.

Wreck Island District Supervisor Trevor Hipps said the law is how Second Amendment limitations start, a movement in the direction of larger restrictions.

He described walking through a county park and legally carrying a gun, a situation that could be illegal just one county over.

“We don’t have any intention of restricting anyone’s rights to carry,” Hipps said.

Raymond said he and other gun rights activists will continue to lobby against laws like these, hoping to keep momentum and push back against unnecessary restrictions across the state.

“People are certain to rail against this, it’s going to be interesting,” Van Cleave said. “Thank heavens for some common sense parts of the state that make you remember that not everybody is crazy to go after gun rights as they are in certain little areas around the state.”

Sarah Honosky covers Appomattox and Campbell counties at The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5556.

Sarah Honosky covers Appomattox and Campbell counties at The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5556. 

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