Alexandria is the first city in Virginia to take advantage of stricter gun laws that will ban guns on any city property, including parks and recreation centers.
The Alexandria City Council passed similar legislation last fall after a mass shooting at the Virginia Beach municipal offices. However, the council did so without authority from the Virginia General Assembly and the law never went into effect.
After hearing from about three dozen speakers who opposed the new law, the council voted unanimously Saturday to bar guns from city-owned building and parks, as well as recreation and community centers.
“The General Assembly was right to give local governments the authority to regulate how firearms are used on public property,” mayor Justin Wilson (D) told the Washington Post. “Protecting public safety is a core responsibility of government. This ordinance is a statement of our community’s values.”
While many residents opposed the new restrictions, some said it was a necessary move.
“This will prohibit the increasingly frequent provocative displays” by gun-rights activists who show up at Alexandria events, said resident Kevin Connell.