The Loudoun Board of Supervisors is seeing support in its threat to withdraw from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) if the organization doesn't reconsider its endorsement of more stringent gun control.
Loudoun's Board of Supervisors on March 14 unanimously approved withholding the $250,000 of COG dues for fiscal 2014 until the group rescinds its endorsement of a resolution from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The resolution calls for an assault weapons ban, closing the “gun-show loophole,” creating a national registry for people who have been convicted of felony firearm violations, prohibiting the sale of armor-piercing ammunition and several other gun-control measures.
Last week the City of Fairfax and Frederick County took action similar to that of Loudoun, sending a letter to COG leaders pressing them to reverse course on the gun debate.
Loudoun board Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) and Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) represent the county on the COG, an independent, nonprofit association of 300 elected officials formed “to address major regional issues in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia,” according to the organization's website.
Letourneau and York oppose the “divisive” resolution from IACP, they say, because the COG is picking an unnecessary, politically-charged issue rather than dealing with unique regional matters, namely transportation.
“I'm a little t'd off about this,” York said.
York last week informed the board he was in talks with COG Executive Director Chuck Bean and the group is working to appease the three dissenting municipalities.
The discussion brought up a larger question for Loudoun County Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian), who requested a detailed list of what the county gains from membership in COG.
“My experience thus far serving on two of the sub-committees, let's just say, I get the feeling they really don't care whether we're involved or not,” Volpe said. “I'd like to know what actual benefits we get.”
York answered, “The benefit that we do have is sitting at the transportation table ... there are several public safety issues for which we do benefit by being at the table.”
The next COG Board of Directors meeting is April 10.
This story has been updated from a previous version.