Alexandria City Council Prohibits Firearms on City Property

Alexandria City Council Prohibits Firearms on City Property

Following a public hearing June 20, the Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance prohibiting firearms and ammunition in City facilities, parks and areas requiring special event permits. Effective July 1, it will be a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess, carry or transport firearms or ammunition in any building, park or recreational or community facility owned or operated by the City for governmental purposes; or at any special event requiring a permit and being held on a City public street, road, alley, sidewalk or public right of way. The ordinance also applies to City employees, agents or volunteers in workplaces that are owned, operated or managed by the City.

Exemptions from the ordinance include military personnel acting within the scope of their official duties; sworn law enforcement officers; private security personnel hired by the City; museum exhibits and historical re-enactments involving unloaded firearms; and official Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and collegiate sports programs.

A similar City ban on firearms in the 1990s was overturned by a law passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2002, which prohibited localities from regulating firearms in their buildings. The General Assembly reversed this policy during the 2020 legislative session, permitting localities to regulate firearms and ammunition in public buildings, parks and special event areas requiring permits. The City is the first jurisdiction in Virginia to adopt such an ordinance under the new law.