Loudoun County implements gun ban at facilities, parks

By the end of the week, there will be signs posted at the entrances of Loudoun County, Virginia, parks, community and recreation centers, and government buildings indicating that firearms are not allowed.

The ordinance banning firearms and ammunition was adopted by the Board of Supervisors last month. Exceptions to the ban include legal guns stored out of sight in a locked, private vehicle; historical re-enactors; and sworn law enforcement officers.

“One of the exceptions that’s actually written into the law that’s a little bit unique is the exception for valid conceal-carry holders in our open-air parks,” said Jim Reid, Loudoun County’s safety and security program manager.

“You don’t see that in other legislation of this type, but that is a decision of the board to allow that,” he said.

Airport-style security screening will be set up at the Loudoun County Government Center, at the Shenandoah Building in Leesburg and at the county government’s service center in Sterling.

People will put their personal items through an X-ray machine, and they’ll walk through a magnetometer under the supervision of contracted security officers. There will be no lockers for firearm storage at security checkpoint areas.

Virginia is an open-carry state, which means a firearm may be carried openly except where prohibited by statute. County employees are being educated on “what to do when,” if they should see a violation of the new county rule.

“One option, if they feel comfortable, is to advise the person that they’re in violation of the ordinance. Because we have to allow for the fact that some people may not realize there’s a new ordinance,” Reid said. “If they don’t feel comfortable, they can call a supervisor or the Loudoun County Sherriff’s office.”

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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