Roanoke’s Lea effectively nixes Second Amendment sanctuary hopes


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Dozens of gun rights activists left Monday’s Roanoke City Council meeting disappointed as Mayor Sherman Lea declined to schedule a vote on assuming Second Amendment sanctuary status. He explained that the matter is already covered by existing state laws.

“What we want to say to the group is that we’re not going to infringe on your Second Amendment rights,” he said, nearly five months after going to Richmond to push for a gun ban in municipal buildings during Governor Northam’s special session. “We’re not looking to take anybody’s guns. We’re looking for sensible decisions.”

The Second Amendment sanctuary title does not carry any legal muscle, but serves as a statement of opposition to potential gun reform in the next legislative session.

“These are serious matters. This is about our Civil Rights,” said Charlie Nave, who favors the move. “Council has an opportunity to tell Richmond – and to tell Washington, in fact – that the people in this city don’t take kindly to having their rights taken away from them.”

Catherine Koebel, one of the few in attendance outwardly opposed to the move, actually joined Lea in July to push for tighter gun laws. She says he summed it up best.

“I think that the mayor was very clear that you already have the protection of the Virginia Constitution. We don’t need to reiterate the Virginia Constitution,” she said.

Following Lea’s announcement, more than half the room stormed out in protest, including VA Gun Owners of America’s Matt Ballard.

“I’m not giving up. We will be back and we will continue pushing it. At the very least, to get all their anti-gun movements off of the legislation is the very least I will accept,” he said, pointing specifically at efforts to limit magazine capacity.

Roanoke County is scheduled to hear a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution Tuesday.


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