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Washington COG expected to reconsider gun violence measure

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) board member Sharon Bulova said Wednesday she will press the COG's board to reconsider its resolution supporting broad gun-control measures during the group's next meeting April 10.

In March the COG's endorsement of a gun-safety resolution from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) provoked fierce political reactions and threats from member various jurisdictions, including Loudoun County. An independent nonprofit made up of 300 elected officials, the COG aims to address unique regional issues in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Loudoun Board of Supervisors on March 14 unanimously approved withholding the $250,000 of COG dues for fiscal 2014 until the organization rescinds its endorsement of the IACP resolution, which calls for a ban on assault weapons, 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.

The City of Fairfax, Manassas City, Prince William County and Frederick County have taken similar action to Loudoun, threatening to leave to the COG if they don't reverse course on the gun-control resolution.

Since Bulova voted in favor of supporting the IACP's call for action she can reintroduce the measure in accord with parliamentary procedure, something she said she plans to do.

Bulova said she understands both sides of the conundrum; she believes there are strong proposals in the IACP resolution, but at the same time respects the dissenting jurisdictions' stance.

“Elected officials who are members of COG do not agree on everything, but working together we have been able to address many of the struggles we share across our borders,” Bulova stated in an email to a constituent and obtained by the Times-Mirror. “Hopefully we’ll be able to bring this approach to the issues associated with gun violence and safety, mental health and safety within our schools.”

The Fairfax chairman initiated a substitute motion to send the IACP resolution to committee during the March meeting, but that measure failed on a 10-10 vote, something Loudoun County Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) said highlights the stark divide on the issue.

Letourneau and Loudoun board Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) represent the county on the COG. The two oppose endorsing the IACP resolution because they say it shows COG is picking an unnecessary, politically-charged issue rather than dealing with unique regional matters, namely transportation.

Loudoun threatening to leave the COG isn't meant to belittle the importance of gun violence or public safety in the region, but it's a question of whether gun control is a measure the COG can do anything about, Letourneau said. Essentially, it's a state or federal issue, he noted.

The Loudoun board's political standpoint in March came just three days before a local 16-year-old, Caleb Gordley, was shot and killed after accidentally entering the wrong house in Sterling while intoxicated.

Gun violence has been a heated national topic since Dec. 14, 2012, when 26 students and staff members were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., by a lone gunman.

According to the news site Slate, at least 3,025 people have been killed by guns since the massacre in Newtown.

Jeanne Saddler, COG's public affairs director, said the organization's leadership has considered the input from Loudoun and Frederick counties and the City of Fairfax, and is working to ensure all member jurisdictions remain in the group.

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Number one question for those who favor “universal background checks” – how do you enforce them?  In other words, how will authorities know if an individual who possesses a firearm submitted to a background check?

If they can answer this question without needing to resort to a database, or a registry, then I am all ears.

Great work and stand-up principle by Loudoun’s Supervisors. Screw the COG and why they’re even trying to support this crap. I legally own an array of firearms. None of them has ever been involved in any shooting of another human being, and all were purchased legally.
Why should I be put in a spotlight for the deeds of someone who was ILLEGALLY possessing a firearm?

The non-starter positions the IACP holds are nothing more than hyperbole and statism under the guise “safety” when there is zero data to back it up. 

They want to ban .50 caliber rifles under the category of “Keep Police Officers Safe” - when was the last time we had a problem with .50 cal killing sprees?  Oh that’s right, never, and for a lot of reasons, we never will.

They want to ban all modern sporting rifles by under the false guise of calling them “military style assault weapons”.  They know full well its a unscientific, fake label used to tug the heart-strings of the ignorant, and they also know full well these guns are almost never used in crimes or homicides.  Nothing but statism and insincerity.

“Ban armor piercing handgun ammo” - guess what geniuses, its already banned.  Its like adding “ban missile launchers” to the category just to make it sound like “hey, we want to ban all the scary terrorist stuff”.  Embarrassingly insincere propaganda.  They know full well its already prohibited.

I could go on and on. What a joke their list is.

I am a Police Officer who is proud of the Board Of Supervisores for standing up. I am tired of politicians constatntly telling the media that all Law Enforcement are behind them in what they are trying to do. The fact is, Law Enforcement is not behind them because we know the truth. The laws they are trying to pass will make crime WORSE, NOT BETTER. It has been proven time and time again. I understand people are frustrated, but we have tried this before and it didn’t work. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to try something different. Your “common sense” Gun Control laws can and will lead to a whole more governmemnt control over the law abiding citizen. NOT THE CRIMINAL. In case you forgot or didn’t realize in the first place, criminals don’t follow our laws. Most of these horrific crimes have happened in a “Gun Free Zone”. Think about that for a minute. Please open your eyes and try to think for yourself for a bit. Just try it out.

Fedupdude you’re right in some respects…but only because a couple of years ago the NRA muscled through a preemption law in Richmond that overrides gun laws in localities…which Fairfax had in abundance prior to this change.  I guess you could say that once again the NRA and the gun manufacturers got good value for money they spent buying the votes of legislators.

Discharge of firearms is still a locally controlled issue..so you’re wrong there.

The fact remains that, as Right Honorable points out, our BOS is doing the NRA’s bidding here and while we’re quite accustomed to their selling out to development interests, taking the side of gun manufacturers seems a particularly annoying and unnecessary excess of pandering.

The COG has no business being involved in a matter they have no power to regulate. Gun laws are a state level thing not a regional issue. VA will never see eye to eye on guns with DC or MD; COG needs to stick to issues like highways and the metro.

We’re supposed to be pleased that our BOS is blocking reasonable gun safety measures and siding with the gun manufacturer’s lobbying group?

Shame on these spineless hacks.

Loudoun BOS,

Thank you for doing what is right. Standing up up to these hastily drafted, illogical laws when all the other sheep or clamoring for them. Time and time again, you have shown that you will not just go along like most politicians and I truly applaud you for this, Thank you and you make me proud to be a resident of Loudoun.

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