Newport City banned open carry in government-owned buildings and public spaces. A 6-1 vote passed the measure despite protests by gun rights activists who attended the event with long guns. Pat Woodbury was the only council member to oppose the bill. The event witnessed 20 speakers, who almost unanimously spoke against the banning open carry.
One speaker said having an armed citizen could have prevented the Virginia Beach mass shooting that claimed 12 lives. Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League urged people to fight the influence of the people who were afraid of firearms. Another speaker reminded the councilmembers of how an armed parishioner stopped a mass shooting incident in the West Freeway Church of Christ in Tarrant County, Texas.
Mayor McKinley Price said that open carrying firearms in public buildings was intimidating. He said he intended to make employees feel comfortable after some of them voiced concerns over people attending events with visible firearms.
The new ordinance bans open carrying or transportation of firearm or firearm components in any building owned by the city or any entity created by or controlled by the city. Carrying within any building used for any local government purpose will also be illegal.
The measure also bans carrying in any recreation, community, or public centers owned by the city or an entity created by or controlled by the city. It will also be illegal to carry on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, or right-of-way because they are designated as public spaces. Consequently, the ordinance bans open carry in almost all places. However, residents can still carry concealed weapons within the city.
Democrats in Virginia weakened the preemption laws during the last legislative session, thus allowing local authorities to ban firearms in various places. It was Northam’s strategy to incrementally undermine the Second Amendment rights until weapons were banned in most places.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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