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Mayor Stoney Wants To Ban Guns In Municipal Buildings, Public Parks

Mayor Levar Stoney at a podium
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced his proposed ordinance to ban guns in municipal buildings and public parks in front of City Hall on Monday morning.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced Monday morning that he’s introducing an ordinance banning guns in municipal buildings and city parks.

State law currently prohibits localities from passing local ordinances regulating guns, but that may change after a General Assembly special session on gun control in July. Democratic lawmakers are expected to introduce bills to change that during a special session next month. It's a long shot, given Republicans propose both houses. 

If the state law changes, Stoney said he wants to be ready.

“I want us to be primed and ready to protect our citizens, and our employees, when the General Assembly acts on this commonsense measure,” Stoney said in a statement. “I don’t want to have to wait to start this process until after we’ve been granted this authority.”

Stoney said the ordinance would be introduced to City Council at Monday night’s meeting. It would go through the same committee process as other ordinances, so it would likely not be voted on for a couple of months.

Standing beside school and police officials, as well as local representatives of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, Stoney pitching the gun ban as a common sense reaction to the mass shooting in Virginia Beach and the shooting death of 9-year-old Markiya Dickson in a Richmond park.

“Every Richmonder and every Virginia deserves to feel safe in spaces like work, municipal buildings, but really our parks,” he said.