Over the past month, Council has heard from many voices concerning the recently filed bills at the State level, most notably the bills regarding the 2nd Amendment. These voices represent a diverse group of people, both for and against the pre-filed legislation; however, correspondence has been overwhelmingly in opposition. I’ve also listened to the concerns voiced by City employees from various departments, notably from Building 2, and I do not believe there is a clear majority on either side of this issue. Regarding the City employees who were impacted by the May 31st tragedy – we all deal with trauma and grief differently, and I would ask that no matter your position on this issue, we do our best to be respectful and mindful of one another throughout this discussion.
This proposed resolution does not create a Sanctuary status for the City of Virginia Beach; we as a municipal governing body do not possess the legal ability to create that distinction. However, this resolution serves as a reaffirmation of our sworn Oath of Office. The proposed resolution reflects the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in D.C. versus Heller that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual’s constitutional right to possess and use firearms. The Virginia Beach City Council submits a legislative packet annually to the General Assembly regarding the Council’s position of State-level issues, and this resolution is no different. Should this resolution pass, Council would be declaring ourselves a Constitutional City, and conveying that the General Assembly should conform to the decision and opinion in D.C. versus Heller. The City Council’s ability to submit recommendations or requests to the General Assembly on any issue is an important part of the checks and balances system of our Government.
I look forward to your thoughts and comments. On Jan. 6th, the Informal Special Session will begin in the Council Conference Room for discussion among the Council at 4 PM. This will be live-streamed (the public is welcome to attend in person, but seating is limited). At 6 PM the Special Formal Session will begin in Council Chambers (which will also be live-streamed). Individuals interested in speaking should email or call the City Clerk’s office to sign up. It is possible to sign up at the meeting, but given the number of people who were present at the last meeting, I would encourage everyone to sign up ahead of time. You can contact the City Clerk by phone (757) 385-4303, or email email@example.com.