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Petersburg Moves to Prohibit Firearms in Sensitive Places, Becoming the 14th Jurisdiction in the Commonwealth, Covering 2.7 Million Virginians

September 24, 2021

The Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the Petersburg City Council for passing a municipal law that prohibits firearms in certain sensitive places. According to the ordinance, guns are not allowed to be carried in publicly-owned buildings, public parks, public recreation or community centers, as well as any public street or sidewalk during a permitted event in Petersburg. 

In total, Moms Demand Action volunteers have supported successful efforts in 14 jurisdictions, home to 2.7 million Virginians, in passing ordinances limiting firearms in sensitive places since 2020. This comes after the gun-sense majority in Richmond empowered municipalities across the Commonwealth to pass ordinances that would prohibit guns in certain sensitive places in July of 2020.

“Allowing guns into public parks and spaces where children play, at crowded demonstrations, or other sensitive government buildings puts us all at risk,” said Mike Fox, a volunteer with Virginia Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Elections matter: important policies like these exist because our gun-sense majority in the Virginia legislature passed a bill to empower local governments to protect their communities. We are pleased that the Petersburg City Council has taken action by passing this law and putting the safety of the Petersburg community first.”

Last year, the Richmond and Charlottesville City Councils also took actions on guns in sensitive public places, prohibiting them at permitted events in those cities following a number of armed protests. These historic accomplishments were achieved in part by more than 100 Moms Demand Action volunteers from Virginia and 23 states, who made nearly 3,000 calls, connecting Virginia voters with their legislators to thank them for supporting common-sense gun safety legislation. Volunteers continue that work today.

In an average year in Virginia, 1,019 people die by guns and 2,050 are shot and wounded. The city of Petersburg has the highest rate of gun deaths among all counties/county-equivalents in the state. Information about gun violence in Virginia is available here.

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