Anticipating a large crowd, the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors has moved a public hearing for a proposed Second Amendment sanctuary resolution to Spotswood High School.
Spotswood's auditorium will open to the public at 6:30 p.m. ahead of the 7:15 hearing on Wednesday, and can seat 650 people, with additional space in the common area outside of the auditorium.
Supervisors will still hold their regular 3 p.m. meeting at the Rockingham County Administration Center, along with the advertised public hearing for proposed land-use matters at 6 p.m. Once those hearings are complete, supervisors will travel to Spotswood High School.
County Administrator Stephen King said the resolution hearing was moved due to the large turnout other counties and cities have seen as they considered similar resolutions declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries.
“Some ... counties have had 700 to 1,000 people attend similar meetings,” King said.
The Second Amendment sanctuary movement began sweeping across rural parts of Virginia after Democrats gained control of the General Assembly in November’s election, promising to take on gun control and other initiatives when lawmakers convene next month.
As of Thursday, more than 40 bills have been prefiled for the 2020 General Assembly session pertaining to firearms.
Augusta County joined more than 40 counties in Virginia with the sanctuary designation on Wednesday after 1,800 people attended a Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisors passed the resolution 7-0.
Page County also voted unanimously to become a Second Amendment sanctuary during a supervisors meeting Tuesday.
Grottoes Town Council is expecting a few people to speak in support of the resolution during public comment of its meeting Monday, but the resolution will not be on the agenda, according to Town Manager Nathan Garrison.
“I have no idea what to expect,” Garrison said. “I think people are waiting to see what happens with [the Board of Supervisors], but there will be no dedicated public hearing for the resolution Monday.”
Seventeen people indicated they would attend the Grottoes meeting to speak in favor of the resolution on a Facebook event page hosted by Redeemed Heathens Outdoors.
The Harrisonburg City Republican Committee started a petition Thursday to bring the resolution to City Council. It had 11 signatures as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
To prepare for Wednesday’s supervisors meeting, the Rockingham County Republican Party held a meeting Monday to discuss talking points.
The Rockingham County Republican Party requested the county adopt the Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.
Dan Cullers, chairman of the party, said Monday he expects next week’s meeting to be crowded due to overwhelming support of the Second Amendment, adding that the more people who show up, the greater the chances the board will consider adopting the resolution.
“I don't know if the board will take any action,” King said.