Loudoun County Supervisors Pass Public Building Gun Ban

Loudoun supervisors late Tuesday night adopted a new ordinance banning guns in county buildings, offices and parks, directing the staff to set up screening stations at the Government Center and Shenandoah Building in Leesburg, and the Sterling Service Center on Ridgetop Circle.

The new ordinance also provides exemptions for concealed carry permit holders visiting county parks, as well for private security personnel hired for a county-permitted event, active duty military personnel performing their official duties, historical reenactments and others. It passed on a party line vote, 6-3.

The vote also came after attempts to push the law in both directions—both tightening it by doing without the exception for concealed carry permits, and, with it clear that some sort of ordinance would pass, loosening it by only applying it to buildings with screening stations.

Supervisor Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian) led the push for the tighter rules, which failed on a 4-5 vote. She was joined by Vice Chairman Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) and Supervisors Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn) and Sylvia R. Glass (D-Broad Run).

“We accepted the support of the gun safety advocacy groups and the voters put us here because they want us to enact such legislation,” Briskman said. “When given the authority, these constituents want to be able to attend public meetings, pay their taxes, file their county paperwork vote and visit our public parks, rec centers and libraries without the presence of firearms, and they certainly don’t want a concealed carry permit holder there with a gun who is neither trained nor experienced in firearms use or safety.”

Supervisor Caleb A. Kershner’s (R-Catoctin) proposal to only apply that rule to buildings with screening stations failed on a party line 3-6 vote.

“I still don’t agree with that, but I think that is a huge step to making up for what you’re taking from folks, a fundamental right under our Constitution,” Kershner said.

“I’ll support the motion, because if you’re going to take away somebody’s ability to lawfully carry within the building, you’ve got to provide a way to keep them safe,” said Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge).

County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) put forth the version of the ordinance that passed.

“You don’t wait for the thing to happen. You do something in advance of it happening,” Randall said. “The moment someone comes in here and starts shooting—we’ve done a lot of things after the fact, but that’s after the fact. So I’ll go back to saying what I said before: I think this is common sense.”

“I keep hearing, you know, Loudoun is safest place to live. But it seems like a lot of people obviously don’t think that it’s the safest place to live, if you have to have a gun with you everywhere you go,” Glass said. “You know, it sounds like that person that’s carrying their weapon everywhere they go, they’re the one that’s fearful, they’re the one that’s afraid.”

I just want to point out at a macro level, we’re not debating the literature of gun violence and all of the issues that go into that here,” said Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles). “We’re debating a county ordinance, and we’re deciding what’s practical and makes sense for us to enforce as a locality.”

The debate has been a long and controversial one, with dozens of people showing up to Board of Supervisors meetings to argue for or against new gun restrictions. That included Tuesday night, when the signups for public input sessions spilled over into a waitlist, with most coming to speak on the gun ordinance.

This article was updated March 3 at 3:29 p.m. to correct a quote.

16 thoughts on “Loudoun County Supervisors Pass Public Building Gun Ban

  • 2021-03-03 at 6:30 am
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    A solution for a non existent problem.
    Surrounded by 15 deputies and cops the BoS passes gun control for when you go to the park They offer no protection to take the place of your weapon yet they are protected by a platoon of cops that no previous board ever needed.
    Ask yourself both Randall and Thomas live in gated communities protected by…you guessed it arm guards, do you?

  • 2021-03-03 at 8:03 am
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    The Democrats have now revoked a basic human right for law-abiding people: Personal safety.

    Let’s review their agenda:
    Make it easier to murder more unborn babies.
    Revoke the death penalty for the worst of the worst violent criminals.
    Make it easier for evil-doers to perpetrate violent crimes on the people of Loudoun without the fear of facing an armed victim.
    Turning local law enforcement into a political tool for them to wield as they wish.

    The Democrats are monsters. Nothing more and nothing less.

    And, and we have a CA who hands of lollipops

    • 2021-03-03 at 8:05 am
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      And I forgot all about the George Soros-funded CA who hands out lollpops to criminals rather than pursuing harsh penalties.

      The Democrats’ vision for Virginia and Loudoun is a terrifying one.

  • 2021-03-03 at 8:49 am
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    The democratic members that voted in favor of this are clueless. Let’s ban guns because it will make the bad people that want to harm others not bring a gun in. Where do they come up with this stuff? Guns are NOT bad, it’s the people that use them. Also, on numerous occasions there have been individuals that have concealed carry permits that have stopped a bad actor. Stop the nonsense. I’m guessing there were some campaign contributions from anti gun folks.

  • 2021-03-03 at 9:11 am
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    Drawing imaginary and invisible lines around areas and buildings doesn’t keep guns out of those areas. At least Ms. Briskman and her magic middle finger admitted she was bought and paid for by Bloomberg money.

    People carry guns, knives, flashlights, cell phones and first aid kits all the time for reasons. You need to be prepared for any number of circumstances. Ms. Glass may live her life in fear of inanimate objects and that is her choice. I have been assaulted several times and I carry tools that enable me to deal with life.

    This infringement on our rights to self-defense in public make another Virginia Tech and Virginia Beach tragedies more likely. Yet at least 6 members of the Loudoun County BoS are too ideological to admit that.

  • 2021-03-03 at 10:37 am
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    Whew! Take that criminals! Now it’s against the law to assault people with a firearm. Oh wait… never mind.

    The cognitive regression of some board members is on powerful display.

  • 2021-03-03 at 12:42 pm
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    Loudoun County, Theatre of the Absurd.

    Loudoun has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons.

    You cannot make this stuff up. We have elected officials, cowards almost all, wasting our money and wasting our time on real stupid stuff.

    You can include banning Dr Seuss books in the discussion. He was writing his books and teaching kids the joy of language since the 1940’s and magically , the cancel culture suddenly discovered secret racist writings. Pathetic. Most of us will continue to use Dr Seuss books. The nut jobs that are offended can burn their own books, not ours.

  • 2021-03-03 at 12:57 pm
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    They are the Left and they are coming for your Rights. VA Beach, Parkland, Virginia Tech… and every other mass shooting have one thing in common, they all happen because of Gun Free zones. Congratulations BOS, you’ve made us less free and less safe.

  • 2021-03-03 at 1:29 pm
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    These are the same people that made Lady Gaga more acceptable than Mr. Potato Head. At one time Randall was considered as a woman who broke the glass ceiling it seems she has thickened it. It is not that they want protection at the building with detection equipment it is that they will leave the rest of us in an unprotected state advertised as a gun free zone aka a killing zone. Briskman sure makes me miss Suzanne Volpe.

  • 2021-03-03 at 1:42 pm
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    So now we are all less safe:

    All mass shootings in Virginia occurred in so-called “gun free” zones. That includes VA Tech and VA Beach (where a woman told her husband the night before that she wanted to carry because her crazy coworker was a threat. But, she feared losing her job, and instead of carrying she lost her life).

    I see that and recognize that gun-free zones are really killing zones for deranged criminals.

    Our DEM board members know that and say, Hey! let’s create MORE of these zones.

    Law enforcement officials can’t be everywhere. They most often show up after the crime and write reports about it. So good citizens must be prepared to defend themselves.

  • 2021-03-03 at 2:57 pm
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    The fact that so many Loudouners are so afraid that they have to wear a gun everywhere is both dangerous to the rest of us and really, really sad. C’mon, don’t be such fraidy cats. Loudoun is a very safe place.

  • 2021-03-03 at 5:43 pm
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    I guess everyone who supports the 2d Amendment better get a concealed carry permit, especially when it comes to the county’s parks. That’s why I don’t go there, ever.
    Now, when the first murder occurs in a county park, which one of the BoS will write the condolence letter to the devastated family because their actions caused that death?
    Somehow, in 3 election cycles, basically 8 years, Loudoun went from 9-0 Republican to 6-3 Democrat. Did the county population and demographics change that severely? Also, I’m still scratching my head that Sheriff Chapman nearly lost to a dubiously backed young man who has an interesting background that would make him more likely to be a Congressman than a Sheriff, yet Sheriff Chapman barely squeaked by. I know what government contractors make who are also captains in the National Guard and you can’t come even come close to fund a campaign with that income so who funded him? Also, there were several pictures of him in his military uniform on campaign literature that implied the Virginia National Guard endorsed him which is a clear violation of the Hatch Act. Why was he not called out on that? Did the Virginia National Guard Judge Advocate General’s office clear the use of the picture on the campaign literature.

  • 2021-03-03 at 9:25 pm
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    The attack on Congress failed because the attackers didn’t telegraph their insurrection plot by showing up armed. The DC ban on guns saved many congress people’s lives. It gave the guards time to get congress members to safety and kept the body count down. A shoot-out in the halls of the Capitol would have been horrific. When there are factions intent on using armed insurrection to overrule the ballot box, it is not safe to allow the public to come armed into government buildings.

  • 2021-03-04 at 8:39 am
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    All gun a ban does is open up areas to be a defenseless shooting gallery! An armed society is a polite society.

  • 2021-03-04 at 3:28 pm
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    Hey Ed, I am glad you brought up the attack on DC.

    You, of course, are referencing the June 2020 three day assault on DC by Antifa and BLM.

    This is where they tried to burn down St Johns Church, shut down local business, launched heavy duty fireworks at law enforcement, caused millions in damage and forced White House members into the bunker.

    Thankfully, our police repelled the assault with teargas.

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