PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A Portsmouth resolution over the right to bear arms will remain intact.
Tuesday night, Portsmouth City Council members planned to talk about a resolution to rescind the "Second Amendment resolution," but instead reversed course, making no changes.
The vote didn’t faze gun owner Maxx Johnson of Portsmouth.
“I don’t think it really matters either way,” Johnson said. “People in Portsmouth are going to have their guns regardless.”
The initial resolution was passed at the start of 2020 after Democrats won control of the state House and Senate.
The City of Portsmouth become part of growing trend, declaring themselves as "Second Amendment sanctuary cities."
The resolution showed opposition to future gun control laws and quickly became a hot button issue.
Council member Lisa Lucas-Burke voted against passing the initial resolution, and Tuesday night, she voted to withdraw the new resolution to rescind the first one.
“We received over 100 letters from citizens on this matter, and it’s a not matter of our moral courage,” Lucas-Burke said. “We know that we all support the Second Amendment.”
Council members voted 4-3 to withdraw the new resolution from the agenda.
Councilman Mark Whitaker said removing the item is a mistake, adding the initial resolution supporting gun rights should be rescinded.
“I’m not going to support it,” he said. “I’m conscious of it, and I hope my fellow council members will be conscious of it as well.”
The ‘rescinding resolution’ was added to the agenda after a majority of council members said the prior resolution didn’t adequately address the issue of gun violence.
“I will not support any type of resolution that supports fear and progress,” Whitaker said. “I’m for sanctuary of human rights.”
Resolutions are not legislation. They have no binding effect on law-abiding gun owners.
Council members said Tuesday the first resolution was symbolic and was never meant to take away Second Amendment rights.
Gun supporters were happy with the outcome. Jason Ward of Portsmouth spoke at the meeting.
“The previous resolution was put intact to protect the law-abiding citizens of Portsmouth,” said Ward. “It should remain intact.”