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VA – GUN POLITICS – Gun-rights advocates want Norfolk to ignore new state laws. They could take the issue to voters.

Petitioners have turned in enough signatures to force Norfolk’s City Council to consider a measure that would instruct city police to effectively ignore new gun-control measures passed by the Virginia General Assembly, the lead organizer behind the petition effort said. Such a vote is unlikely from a largely liberal council that voted this year to ask state lawmakers to give the city the right to ban guns in more public places. But the issue could ultimately be decided by voters. Bob Brown, the chairman of Norfolk’s Republican Party and the lead petitioner, said his group turned in roughly 1,400 signatures to Norfolk’s Circuit Court clerk on Thursday, just ahead of the deadline. The drive began Jan. 30, and Brown said they lost months of time to collect signatures when quarantine measures went into place as the coronavirus pandemic heated up in America, but things had loosened up enough for them to collect signatures on Election Day in May. That 1,400 is enough to prompt the city to schedule at least two public hearings on the matter and force council’s consideration under the city charter, though that may ultimately not look much like, well, consideration. City Attorney Bernard Pishko has previously advised the council that declining to take a vote on the resolution is a form of consideration and an effective rejection. This is how they treated a similar petition effort from critics of the city’s casino deal late last fall.  [full article]

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