Harrisonburg City Council doesn't take action on Second Amendment resolution

City council did not take any action on a second amendment resolution during the meeting. |...
City council did not take any action on a second amendment resolution during the meeting. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 12:32 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Harrisonburg joined other localities in the area on Tuesday by having a discussion about a second amendment resolution. However at the end of the night, no decision about a resolution was made.

On Tuesday, the agenda listed a discussion about a second amendment resolution, but public comment was not allowed. Since it was an item on the agenda, no one could discuss it during the normal public comment period.

Normal city business took about two and a half hours, with the city granting special use permits, changing zoning and hearing a presentation about an environmental action plan.

When it came time for the discussion, councilman George Hirschmann, who requested it be added to the agenda, said he thought it would be a good idea for people to hear what council members were thinking about the idea of a resolution. As it turned out, not many on council had something to say.

After some silence, there was shouting from the crowd of people, who wanted city council to discuss thoughts on the resolution. Councilman Richard Baugh spoke, and said it's common for residents to ask city council members to comment on topics of the day. But he didn't necessarily agree with the idea.

"Why are we even taking a position, you've got a legislature that's going to be taking action," Baugh said. "People see we have full agenda of all sorts of stuff."

Councilman Chris Jones said even though he owned firearms, he didn't agree with the resolution. He said he's not motivated by fear-mongering, regardless of where it's coming from, and said people should wait and see what happens before making a decision.

"You have to wait until something's actually happened, and then, then maybe you can make a statement," Jones said. "But I strongly doubt the attorney general is going to do something unconstitutional."

Jeffrey Mayfield, chair of the Harrisonburg City Republican Committee, said they submitted a resolution for council to consider back in December. He thought the way the discussion went on Tuesday was disappointing.

"It feels like there was a lot of disrespect to the people in attendance tonight, majority of them being here for this second amendment resolution," Mayfield said.

Baugh said during the meeting, he would love to be respectful to everyone in attendance.

Not everyone on city council shared any thoughts about the resolution. Baugh, Jones and Hirschmann were really the only ones to speak, aside from Mayor Deanna Reed, who asked people to be respectful when they started yelling during the meeting. The meeting moved on without city council taking any kind of vote on the resolution.