The National Rifle Association is suing Virginia’s Fairfax County for what it calls an “unconstitutional” gun ban.
Virginia’s Fairfax County is one of the most populated parts of the state. Not surprisingly, it’s home to the Commonwealth’s most stringent gun control laws — making it the center of the fight for the Second Amendment in the state.
At the end of 2020, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors put through a vote to ban guns in all public properties. This includes places like public parks, community recreation centers, and government buildings. People that have the correct permits and licenses to carry their weapons would be subjected to high fines and even jail time for violating this new law. That could include up to a year in jail and a fine of at least $2,500.
During the board’s meeting, they got hours of pushback and arguments against this ban from law-abiding and gun-owning citizens who don’t agree with it. That didn’t matter much though since the ordinance was passed by the board 8 to 1 — with Pat Herrity being the sole member that voted against the ban.
Other Virginia counties are considering similar bans, including Alexandria, Falls Church, and Arlington.
The NRA has joined the fight against the gun ban. NRA Spokesperson Amy Hunter says that “the ban on firearms in parks and on trails in Fairfax County is dangerous and unconstitutional.”
“When there are bans or laws, a reasonable person needs to know when they’re breaking one,” she said. “To have it say that guns are banned anywhere adjacent to an event that requires a permit, it’s just confusing to the everyday person.”
People have the right to protect themselves and their families in public areas. Some of the trails along many of the public parks are in heavily wooded and secluded areas. County officials, however, don’t see it that way.
“After decades of advocacy at the general assembly, we received the authority from the state to ban firearms on county property. This action was a commonsense decision that limits firearms on county property and makes us all safer,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay said, defending the ban.
People like McKay seem to believe that the risk of violent crime mysteriously vanishes when you’re standing on government property. If anything, they’ve just ensured the opposite.
With almost 400 miles of wooded trails throughout the Fairfax County park system, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that crime occurs in these areas. The law enforcement and park officials do try to keep these areas as safe, but this doesn’t mean law-abiding Americans shouldn’t be free to ensure their own safety.
The NRA’s case to sue with LaFave v. Fairfax County is such an important and vital lawsuit to win. The domino effect of gun control has to be stopped.