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Anticipating crowd, Halifax supes to meet in Bethune gym to discuss Second Amendment sanctuary

SoVaNow.com / November 29, 2019
The Halifax County Board of Supervisors will hold its Dec. 2 meeting in the Mary Bethune Office Complex gymnasium to accommodate what is expected to be a massive turnout to speak on a proposed resolution declaring Halifax County a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”

“Due to the anticipated crowd size related to the Second Amendment Resolution, in conjunction with Chairman [Dennis] Witt and Sheriff [Fred] Clark, it was determined for both crowd size and simplification of security measures this move was prudent in order to provide the public with a comfortable open setting,” wrote County Administration Scott Simpson in announcing the change of venue on Wednesday.

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2. Citizens comments will follow a series of public hearings, each expected to be brief, on permits for cell phone towers and final authorization of the county’s sales tax for school capital improvements, enacted by voters in the Nov. 5 referendum.

The citizens comments portion of the meeting will be followed by an expected vote by supervisors on whether to adopt the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution, versions of which have been approved in Charlotte, Campbell, Pittsylvania, Appomattox and a number of other rural Virginia counties.

The pro-gun rights uproar comes in reaction to the takeover of both houses of the General Assembly by Democrats in the November election. Democratic candidates ran largely on a gun control platform in the wake of the May 31 massacre of 12 people in Virginia Beach and other mass shootings in the U.S.

The proposed resolution states that “the Board [of Supervisors] wishes to express its intent to stand as a Sanctuary County for Second Amendment rights and to oppose, within the limits of the Constitutions and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia, any efforts to unconstitutionally restrict such rights, and to use such legal means at its disposal to protect the rights of the citizens to keep and bear arms, including through legal action, the power of appropriation of public funds, and the right to petition for redress of grievances, and the direction to the law enforcement and judiciary of Halifax County to not enforce any unconstitutional law ….”

Acknowledging that “local law enforcement is the responsibility and preserve of the Sheriff and the Commonwealth’s Attorney, who are independently elected officers under the Virginia Constitution,” the resolution goes on to state, “the Board wishes to express its sentiments, together with the sentiments of the Halifax County community as a whole, with regard to this important matter, and its continuing intent to take lawful action to protect these important rights.”

The Bethune gymnasium where the monthly board meeting will be held is located in back of the office complex, where the temporary home of Halifax County Circuit Court clerk’s office is located. As is standard for Board of Supervisors meetings, no guns are allowed and visitors will be required to pass through a metal detector before entering the complex.



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