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VA – GUN CONTROL – Winchester bans guns at city-owned properties, events

“Why do you have to have a gun everywhere you go?” That was a question raised Tuesday night by Winchester Vice Mayor John Hill near the end of City Council’s discussion regarding a proposed ban on guns and ammunition at any city government building, property or city-sanctioned event. After hearing and reading dozens of impassioned statements from area residents who either favored or supported the measure, council voted 7-2 to approve the ordinance. “I think it’s really important for us to protect our citizens and our staff,” City Council Vice President Kim Herbstritt said while explaining her support for the ban. “I don’t think we should wait for something to happen.” Herbstritt sided with her fellow Democrats on council — Mayor David Smith, Hill and members Evan Clark, Judy McKiernan, Phillip Milstead and Richard Bell — in supporting the ordinance. Council’s only two Republicans — Les Veach and Corey Sullivan — voted in opposition. “This clearly gives the bad guys with guns a distinct advantage over the good guys with guns,” Sullivan said. A total of 137 people shared their thoughts on the matter with City Council. Forty-five were from Winchester, 74 were from Frederick County, one was from Clarke County, five did not identify their place of residence and 12 came from locations outside of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, including Northern Virginia, Chesterfield and Kearneysville, West Virginia. Eighteen of those people addressed council directly during Tuesday night’s public hearing on the proposed ban. Of those, only one person spoke in favor of it.  [full article]

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