Virginia Beach City Council member withdraws resolution for bill on regulating guns inside government buildings

Posted at 10:05 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 22:53:20-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Virginia Beach City Council member withdrew a resolution of support Tuesday night for a bill that would allow localities to make their own rules when it comes to firearms in government buildings.

News 3 reporter Erin Miller attended the three-hour conversation.

As the public comment period wrapped up, Councilwoman Sabrina Wooten withdrew the resolution, saying she "doesn't feel she has support from council for it to go forward." She did, however, reference a study that showed support from 67% of community members.

The bill asks the General Assembly for the localities to decide how to regulate guns inside government buildings, meaning they can prohibit people from carrying them, which is what Wooten and Councilman Guy Tower were pushing for.

<p class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-816674">Sabrina Wooten

Dozens of attendees were outspoken against that, saying they need to protect themselves and that gun-free zones only promote danger.

Monday night, the council deemed the city a Second Amendment "constitutional" city protecting Second Amendment rights.

A Second Amendment sanctuary - or constitutional city, which the City of Virginia Beach calls it - means the local governments would not use local resources to prosecute anti-gun laws, but state laws would still supersede the local governments.

This issue was supposed to be discussed in June but was pushed back because of how close that was to the May 31 mass shooting at Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, which claimed the lives of 12 city workers. One man who spoke at Tuesday's meeting was in the building and passed the gunman, but said if he had his gun the outcome may have been different.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer ended the meeting by saying, "Yes, we are going to disagree, but to move forward, the city needs to do so together."