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Alexandria bans guns and ammunition from parks, government buildings and rec centers

Alexandria City Council unanimously adopted the ordinance, which prohibits guns and ammunition from city property, on Saturday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Under a new ordinance passed by Alexandria City Council Saturday, guns and ammunition are banned from city property, including parks and streets where special events are held.

Starting July 1, anyone found carrying or transporting guns or ammunition on Alexandria City property -- including parks, recreational and community facilities owned by the city -- can be hit with a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail or $2,500 fine.

Military personnel acting "within the scope of their official duties", as well as sworn-in law enforcement officers and private Alexandria security personnel, are exempt from the ordinance. Museums exhibits with firearms -- like historical reenactments -- are also exempt, as well as collegiate sports programs like ROTC.

The ban also applies to special events requiring a permit that are held on Alexandria public streets, alleys, sidewalk, road, or public alleyway. 

In 2002, a similar ban on guns in Virginia was overturned by the Virginia General Assembly, which made localities unable to regulate firearms in their buildings. 

After a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, Governor Ralph Northam proposed a gun control agenda that allowed those localities to adopt and determine gun control efforts rather than wait for the state.  Alexandria is the first jurisdiction in the commonwealth to adopt the ordinance under the new law.

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