RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s capital city has adopted a law banning guns on public property during protests and other events.
The Richmond City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the ordinance, which is aimed at preventing violent confrontations during demonstrations against racial inequality that have continued to take place across the country and have elsewhere resulted in fatalities, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
The law bans the carrying of guns on public property at any event or at any public area by an event, including on streets, sidewalks and in alleys, whether or not the event is formally permitted by the city, the newspaper said.
Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith expressed support for the move ahead of the vote Tuesday, and referenced the killing of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as well as the fatal shooting of a right-wing supporter in Portland, Oregon, by a suspect who was later killed by police.
“Sooner or later, we are going to have different groups with different opinions who square off with each other,” the newspaper quoted Smith as saying. “I believe this will be something we can use to increase safety in all of Richmond.”
Some council members expressed concern about enforcement of the law and some community members who spoke at the special meeting questioned whether the ban would violate their Second Amendment rights.