A Virginia city councilman showed up to a council meeting Tuesday evening wearing an AR-15-style rifle. The move has angered some of his peers, one of whom wants and apology.
Nathan Clark, a Portsmouth, Virginia city councilman, chose to wear the “accessory” on Tuesday because the council would be considering a resolution to turn the city into a Second Amendment Sanctuary, The Virginia-Pilot reported.
“Clark — who is seeking re-election this year — brought his gun and issued a press release to emphasize his support for hundreds of Second Amendment advocates who packed chambers to capacity,” the outlet reported, adding that the resolution narrowly passed.
Naturally, gun-control supporters were outraged by Clark’s support of his Second Amendment Rights.
The Pilot reported Friday that two fellow politicians raised concerns about Clark’s stunt within days of the meeting. Emails obtained by the outlet “show Councilman Shannon Glover first raised the issue in an email to the entire council late Wednesday.” Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke wrote to the council Thursday morning that Clark’s move “was a disgrace, disheartening and an embarrassment.” She added, “Most of us were blindsided by the display.” Lucas-Burke and Glover reportedly agreed about their concerns, and the vice mayor suggested Clark apologize.
The emails included Councilman Bill Moody, who defended Clark and said he didn’t “believe that Council(man) Clark needs to apologize for exercising his right as a law enforcement officer to carry his weapon to a public meeting.”
Moody then took a jab at the liberals on the council. “I can appreciate liberals’ knee jerk reactions but if they have a problem with the law they should use the system they now control to change it,” he wrote.
Clark had issued a press release ahead of his publicity stunt before the council, which drew criticism from outside Virginia, the Pilot reported. The father of a teenager who was killed during the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting posted a tweet critical of Clark.
“My daughter did not know someone carrying an AR 15 would kill her,” wrote Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the shooting. “Citizens you represent should not be forced to accept (your) engaging in open intimidation with (your) AR 15.”
Clark told WTKR that the gun was loaded but that he had training with this type of weapon and he noted that during the meeting.
“I had a lot of people come and talk to me after it,” Clark told the outlet. “No one appeared intimidated. There the police officers that were there; they were aware that I had it.”
Nearly 90% of the counties in Virginia have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries following Virginia Democrats’ passing of gun-control laws in the state.
President Donald Trump has weighed in on the Democrats’ gun-grabbing measures, tweeting that “Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia.”
He added: “That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!”
The Daily Wire reported Saturday that the Virginia Supreme Court upheld Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s gun ban on Capitol Grounds in preparation for a pro-gun rally on Monday.