Despite the considerable constraints posed by Virginia’s Dillon Rule (that no local jurisdiction can pass laws not authorized by the state), the Falls Church City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance Monday that prohibits the carrying of a loaded rifle or shotgun on City streets, roads and highways.
F.C. Police Chief Mary Gavin told the Council it will be very useful to enable Falls Church Police to “have conversations” with citizens whose shotguns or rifles may be suspected of being loaded and of “separating the citizen from a weapon” for examination purposes. “It is a small but important measure of safety to our officers on the street,” she said. The new ordinance also maintains the prohibition on the discharge of pneumatic guns in certain places, a move that Councilman Dan Sze hailed for deterring the use of simulated weapons that can endanger law enforcement efforts. It also prohibits the resale of confiscated weapons. The new statute also cleans up areas in the City code that are redundant with or in violation of State laws.
Chief Gavin singled out Council member Letty Hardi for spearheading the effort, and a dozen members of Moms Demand Action who were present to show support.