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Chase City signs up as 2nd Amendment Sanctuary locality

SoVaNow.com / February 12, 2020
The Town of Chase City joined the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement on Monday night as Council members voted unanimously to sign onto a resolution previously enacted by the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors.

In December, Mecklenburg County supervisors adopted a resolution that expressed the intent of Mecklenburg to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary by withholding the use of public funds that, if spent, would “unconstitutionally restrict Second Amendment rights or aid in the unconstitutional restriction of the rights under the Second Amendment of the citizens of Mecklenburg County to keep and bear arms.”

That same resolution was approved by Council members on Monday but made applicable specifically to Chase City residents.

Because of interest shown in the issue during Council’s monthly meeting in January, Mayor Eddie Bratton postponed a vote to give members time to study the matter and invite more citizens to weigh in on the debate. Bratton also moved the site of the February meeting from Town Hall to the Estes Community Center to accommodate the larger-than-usual crowd.

Because of the interest in the 2A Sanctuary movement, Bratton moved that the resolution vote be placed at the top of the agenda.

“At the January meeting of Town Council, there was a lot of interest voiced about the support of the Second Amendment and the Town’s position regarding the new attitude being imposed by the General Assembly relating to the ownership of personal firearms,” said Bratton. Because of that, “Our council has been asked to consider adopting the position of stating its support of Second Amendment Rights as enumerated in the Constitution of the United States,” the mayor continued.

Speaking before the vote, Councilman Charles Willis explained how and why he would support the resolution despite his personal view in favor of closing the loophole that allows guns to be purchased at gun shows without obtaining a background check. Willis also said he favors allowing localities to restrict people from carrying weapons into public places in certain situations. He said he found nothing in the wording of the resolution that would interfere with his oath to support the Constitutions and laws of Virginia and the United States. He was particularly offended by a General Assembly that “intentionally disregarded” the thoughts and views of the people living in Southside Virginia.

He also shared a little history lesson, telling Council and the audience that Virginia previously tried to limit gun purchase to one a month. That law was enacted in 1993 and repealed in 2021, “and in my view it should stay repealed,” said Willis, whose remarks were greeted with loud applause from the audience.

Councilman James Bohanan praised Willis for the thoroughness of his research on the subject.

When no other member of Council or the audience rose to speak on the topic, Bratton called for the vote and the 2A Sanctuary Resolution was approved without opposition.

In other business, Council members approved a change to the Town Code to prohibit the parking of all commercial vehicles, not just trucks and tractors, on any town street adjacent to a residential district, unless the vehicle is being actively unloaded or loaded, being used by persons working on town streets or is permitted by the town to be parked on the street for a limited period.

The fine for violating this ordinance is $25 per instance. It rises to $50 if not paid within 48 hours of receipt of a written notice about the violation.

Council also added “bed and breakfast” to the definitions in the Town’s zoning ordinances.

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