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.

Contact Jessica Wetzler at 574-6279 or Follow Jessica on Twitter @wetzler_jessica

(3) comments


It's entertaining to come on here and read posts from people the demonstrate the own ignorance on the subject of their own post. Why don't they actually do a little research before? Too much effort I guess. There is no physical difference between an AR-15 and a typical hunting rifle. NONE! ZERO! The magazine or clip can be order with a capacity of 10, 30 or more. One doesn't fire faster than the other and actually most deer rifles are more deadly. The sad part is most folks on the left have already had this explained to them many, many times and they choose to ignore it. Once again demonstrating their ignorance. The neo-liberals don't want Americans to own any firearms and these newest threats against the 2nd Amendment are just the start of their push. The attendance at the area BOS meetings shows that those of us on the right are willing to push back. Don't fall for their "safer spaces" or "universal" BS, they hate you for being who you are and are going to do everything they can to take away your rights.


Amazing to hear of the crowds excited about something. This is a window into the psyche of the rural people of the valley--afraid of criminals raping their daughters and wives while sexual abuse has been clearly shown to occur with those in a person's own close circle of family, relatives and 'trusted' friends. Afraid of immigrant "criminals" (a worry since the ancient of times in the human psyche), when the majority are seeking a safer, more prosperous life like our own immigrant descendents. Moreover, you would think this uprising was about legislators taking away their pistols, hunting rifles or some kind of sport weapon, when its ACTUALLY about protecting citizens at large (the common good) by exploring change that eliminates weapons designed specifically to kill multiple people in a setting--so called military style weapons (yes, I am a Gulf War veteran), and having 'common sense' background checks that help ensure individuals who are potential (at risk) violent criminals and have e.g., significant mental health problems are kept safe by not allowing them to have weapons. Please keep your pistol handy and keep hunting (that's your right); but as for me, I want (need) safer schools, public spaces where I and millions of others traverse every day (other's rights). Enjoy your outing-- Peace to all!

S in Shenandoah Valley

Agreed. From what research we *do* have (given that the NRA has sadly strangled support for research into the best ways to balance safety and gun rights), common sense gun control methods will save lives. Period. How can anyone object to more accurate and universal background checks, unless they have something to hide?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.