Roanoke City Council says laws need to change to prevent guns in municipal building

ROANOKE, Va. – Following the Virginia Beach tragedy, Roanoke City Council members said they want to take another look at restricting guns in city buildings and they're making it a priority.

The City Council doesn't know what it's going to take to restrict or limit guns and other weapons in city government spaces.

"The time of reacting to these incidents that are happening needs to come to an end," said Vice Mayor Joe Cobb. 

He said of the shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on Friday, "It's painful that we live in that kind of reality."

Virginia law prohibits localities such as Roanoke from passing laws preventing guns in municipal buildings.  A bill to change the law was proposed this year, and Mayor Sherman Lea went to Richmond to advocate for it. Lea said he feels that lawmakers in Richmond refuse to deal with gun issues.

Councilwoman Trish White-Boyd said making sure doors are locked during council meetings and having security inside is now standard procedure.

"There's not a whole lot we can do except preventive measures," she said. 

But thinking about the 12 lives lost in Virginia Beach on Friday, she wonders if it's enough.

"I'm afraid to say that will not be the last time until something changes with our state laws," said White-Boyd.

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