LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) — After nearly six hours of public comment, Lynchburg City Council voted not to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary on Tuesday night.
Lynchburg CIty Council votes no to becoming a second amendment sanctuary. WDBJ7 photo
At the start of the meeting, hundreds were packed inside E.C. Glass High School's auditorium. Over 100 people signed up to speak, both for and against the proposed resolution.
Many of those in favor wore "Gun Save Lives" stickers as they spoke.
"I urge you to stand up for our rights."
"As an older brother and son who takes care of his parents, how are they to defend themselves when I'm not around?"
"When local political leaders allow state political leaders to criminalize local constituents, they surrender the moral authority to lead."
City resident Del. Wendell Walker also spoke in favor of the resolution.
"If we lose our Second Amendment rights, then we know the first amendment will be next," Walker said. "I fear we are on a slippery slope to tyranny."
Many women also shared how they believed it is their right to defend themselves that was in jeopardy of being taken away should the resolution fail.
"I urge you therefore to support the proposed Second Amendment sanctuary," one woman said. "The women of Lynchburg are counting on you to support their right to defend themselves."
"I need ya'll to support me and to help me," another said. "Ya'll represent me. I know we have different beliefs, but this is something we need to support."
Others voiced concerns about passing the resolution, saying it would break with state legislature. They urged council to let the law be decided by lawmakers in Richmond.
"It is unfair to assume that all bills proposed in the General Assembly are unconstitutional and strictly against the everyday gun owner."
"The complexity of the issue has not changed, but the General Assembly in Richmond is the correct body to address these issues. Passing such a broad resolution with terrible language and uncalculated impacts is absolutely the wrong decision."
The discussion, heated at times, forced Mayor Treney Tweedy to interrupt outbursts.
"I'm asking you to respect those persons at the microphone," Tweedy said.
The resolution, drafted by Council Member Jeff Helgeson, stated it would uphold the Second Amendment rights of city residents. It goes on to include restricting the city's public funds from upholding potential laws that are deemed to infringe on a citizen's rights.
Hegleson and Edgar Perrow voted in favor of the resolution. Sterling Wilder, Randy Nelson, Beau Wright, Vice Mayor MaryJane Dolan, Mayor Treney Tweedy voted no.
In the end, the vote was 5-2 against becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary.
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