Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- Two things happened at the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors at there last meeting:
- 1. The Board changed an ordinance that prohibited possession of “dangerous weapons” during a parade. The County, of course, cannot ban guns due to preemption, so they did a very confusing change to the ordinance to allow guns, but disallow other types of weapons (dirks, daggers, etc.). I believe the intent of the change was to confuse and discourage those wishing to carry a gun. However, guns are allowed to be carried at parades in Roanoke County, regardless of the confusing language in the modified ordinance. Non-VCDL members, sadly, are probably not going to realize they have the right to carry at parades in Roanoke.
- 2. The Board lowered the CHP fee from $50 to $40, instead of to $25. The County is putting the extra $15 in the General Fund, like it would a tax. That money is not a tax, it is meant to cover the real cost of doing a background check and nothing more. It should not exceed $10. They are charging $25.
ACTION ITEM: If you live in Roanoke Country, contact the Board of Supervisors and let them know that you are disappointed that they did not reduce the concealed handgun permit fee to $25. Email address: [email protected]
Here is a detailed report on that night's Roanoke County Board of Supervisors meeting provided by Ryan Bruch:
In case you hadn't heard, Roanoke County voted to reduce the CHP fee to $40 beginning July 1, 2020. This seemed planned by the Board's Chairman (Phil North), despite the efforts of Supervisor Assaid. I have included a summary below of the presentation, discussion, and action as well as a link to the meeting's video recording. I suggest all those who disagree with Roanoke County taking this excessive fee as “revenue” for their general fund to email the board their displeasure.
Video of the September 24th meeting (8:20 – 23:00): http://roanokecountyva.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx
== Summary of Presentation & Discussion ==
Assistant County Administrator Rebecca Owens accurately presented to the Board the history of the fee structure and the impact on next fiscal year's budget. She also stated that “sometime such [background] investigations get complicated and need to be referred over to the prosecutors office, reviewing each on its own merit.”
Supervisor North inquired the actual cost of such background check, as in his experience in Parks and Rec a few years ago the cost was $28 per background check. Assistant Chief of Police Jimmy Chapman responded that the police department uses their own Records Division clerks to do the background checks, therefore the cost would be based on their salaries. A third-party vendor is not used.
Vice-Chairman Hooker then asked if the 2,000 permits per year require dedicated staff. Assistant Chief Chapman said that “…if you look back at the history and the increase in the permits that were required, that required us to bring on additional staff to process the required number.”
Vice Chairman Hooker then asked if it is correct to state that the $45 of the fee goes into the General Fund and not directly to the Police and Clerks Office, and therefore not directly effecting their revenues. Assistant Administrator Owens stated that “any change we make to this could potentially impact the Police department, depending on who they actually have preform the background check. State law caps that at $35 dollars for us, now if Parks and Rec is getting that for $28 then the likelihood is that $35 is covering your cost.” Assistant Chief Chapman agreed.
There was discussion regarding the exact reduction based on the 2,000 permits for year budgeted and the numbers given to the board by the Chief of Police. The Board agreed to use the 2,000 permits annually as the basis for discussion all numbers discussed.
Chairman North stated he had previously gotten an answer from the County Administrator regarding what other localities in the region were charging, and while most are doing $50, there are three that are charging $40. Chairman North requested Assistant Administrator Owens to state what those three municipalities were who are charging $40. She stated that Roanoke City, Salem City, Lynchburg City, and Franklin County are all charging $50, and that Montgomery County and Bedford County are at $40. She also acknowledged that Bedford County had recently reduced the fee to $15 for a one year evaluation period.
There was some confusion over a one year permit vs the one year evaluation period that Bedford County instated. Clarified as all permits are 5 year, and that it is a one year evaluation period.
Supervisor Assaid had the administrator remind the board that the annual budget is $196 Million dollars, that they are squabbling over $50k, and that the year end surplus is about 3.1 million this year. He also stated that it would be hard to believe that during the budgeting process the board wouldn't be able to find the 50k while additionally supporting the police department with better salaries in order to retain of officers in the County's police department.
Supervisor Assaid made a motion to approve the resolution reducing the CHP fee to $25. Chairman North, without even asking for a second, made a motion to amend Supervisor Assaid's motion and to reduce the fee to $40 instead of $25. Seconded by Supervisor Radford. Supervisor Assaid asked the county attorney if he could make another substitute motion based on Chairman North's motion. County Attorney Lubeck stated that because Chairman North's motion had been seconded it must go to a vote, and if the motion fails then a new motion may be made. County Attorney Lubeck also stated that Chairman North did not have to ask for a second before making his substitute motion.
Yays: Hooker, Radford, North
Nays: Assaid, Peters
About Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.