Herndon Town Council defers action on gun ordinance

The Herndon Town Council has deferred action on an ordinance that would prohibit firearms on town property.

Mayor Sheila Olem announced Tuesday (April 13) at the council’s meeting that it will hold off on any action with the firearm ordinance until Town Manager Bill Ashton can come back with additional information on the subject.

Olem added the council would also like to hold an advertised public hearing on the matter so it “can gather input from our residents.”

“Following last week’s work session discussion on the item, the council’s consensus was that we should give the town manager time to analyze the budgetary impacts of this,” Olem said.

Ashton will return to the council on May 6 to present his findings during a strategic planning session.

The proposed ordinance follows initial discussions the council had in September after Virginia adopted legislation allowing localities to institute ordinances to prohibit firearms on their public property.

Herndon’s proposed ordinance falls in line with similar ordinances that have been adopted in Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties, as well as in cities including Falls Church and Alexandria.

The ordinance, if passed, would prohibit the “possession, carrying, or transportation of any firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof” on town property.

The town property listed in Herndon’s proposed ordinance includes any building used or owned by the town, or any authority or local government entity controlled by the town for governmental purposes. The ordinance extends to public parks and recreation or community centers owned or operated by the town.

The ordinance would not to apply military personnel when acting within their official capacity, sworn or retired law enforcement officers, on duty private security hired by the town, and for educational programs or historical reenactments conducted or permitted by the town and wherein the firearms used are not loaded.

A violation of this ordinance would constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Photo via Thomas Def/Unsplash

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