At its meeting this Monday, the F.C. City Council voted unanimously to tighten up City gun control laws, even though its hands were tied by state laws preempting under the Dillon Rule.
The new City ordinance pertains only to what state law permits, and it included a ban on loaded rifles and shotguns being carried in vehicles. F.C. Police Chief Mary Gavin spoke of being “wholeheartedly behind this,” saying “anytime we are able to control the use of weapons, it is good, safer for the community and our officers. The new ordinance permits officers to check the status of the weapons they encounter during routine stops.
Council member Letty Hardi, a major force behind the new ordinance, praised the large turnout of “Moms Demand Action” who turned out to witness the vote. She also hailed the measure’s maintenance of the City’s ban on pneumatic (BB and pellet) guns because children have been hit with stray BBs in the City. Councilman Dan Sze said he hopes to see loopholes closed beyond just background checks to include those with histories of domestic violence. Councilman David Snyder stated that safety is a “number one priority,” and bemoaned “the severe limitations on locations” that the state imposes, and urged Richmond to focus on the repeal of State Code 15.2.915 that prohibits localities from passing any law that is not explicitly permitted by state law.