Councilman Nathan Clarke made a statement by wearing a AR-15 around his neck as Portsmouth, Virginia declared itself the latest region to declare themselves a 2nd amendment sanctuary.
The Virginian Pilot reports it was Portsmouth’s turn Tuesday night to consider a resolution supporting the Second Amendment, and Councilman Nathan Clark chose an attention-grabbing accessory for the occasion: an AR-15 rifle.
Clark — who is seeking re-election this year — brought his gun and issued a press release to emphasize his support for hundreds of Second Amendment advocates who packed chambers to capacity.
Clark joined a narrow majority of council members who vowed to support gun rights in Portsmouth, following suit from more than 100 localities across the state passing similar resolutions. Proponents hope they will dissuade the General Assembly’s new Democratic majority from passing laws that some people complain will limit their Constitutional rights.
In a 4-3 vote, the council passed a two-page resolution drafted by City Attorney Solomon Ashby which declares Portsmouth a “Second Amendment Constitutional City” and “expresses (the City Council’s) strong support for the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and urges the members of the General Assembly and the Governor to take no action which would violate the freedoms guaranteed in both Constitutions or burden law-abiding citizens who currently lawfully possess certain weapons and capacity magazines.”
Mayor John Rowe, Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke and Councilman Shannon Glover cast the dissenting votes, stressing that elected leaders already promised to uphold the Constitution — including the Second Amendment — when they took their oath of office.
“If this doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, then why are we doing anything?” Lucas-Burke asked her peers during a work session Monday night. She said she wouldn’t bend to “a lot of intimidation” from people lobbying in favor of the proposal.
Gun-rights advocates hissed at council members as the group reviewed Ashby’s proposed resolution language during Monday night’s work session. At a tense meeting that followed on Tuesday, nearly 40 speakers spent 3½ hours urging the group to vote in favor of it.
“It is your duty to tell those tyrants in Richmond that we’re not going to take it,” Kevin Jewett said. “This is not up for debate.”
One Portsmouth council member came to Tuesday's meeting with an AR-15 rifle strapped to his chest.
Nathan Clark — who is seeking re-election this year — brought his gun and issued a press release to emphasize his support for Second Amendment advocates. pic.twitter.com/KE18vpccyq
— The Virginian-Pilot (@virginianpilot) January 15, 2020