Virginia Beach public works employee starts petition to allow firearms at work


Virginia Beach public works employee starts petition to allow firearms at work

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY/CNN) - A Virginia Beach public works employee thinks he has a solution that will keep city employees safe from workplace shootings.

Vincent Smith thinks employees should be allowed to bring their own guns to work.

"Today, it is not working," Smith said.

It being a policy he must abide by as an employee of the city of Virginia Beach that prevents him or any of his non-law enforcement colleagues from bringing legally owned guns to work.

"(The policy) was really restricting for how people could be prepared for something like this," Smith said.

He is a division manager for the department of public works where 12 people were killed and four more were injured on May 31.

“The only thing that stops an evil person with a gun, is a good person with a gun,” Smith said duringa city council meeting. “That is who stopped that man that day.”

Last Tuesday, he informed the council that he would be relaunching a Change.org petition in hopes they will do away with the old policy.

He said this isn't a new idea.

"About four years ago, I did recognize there were some security concerns around the city," Smith said.

When he initially launched it, one of the nearly 260 people who signed it was contractor Herb Snelling.

“Had we allowed it on May 30, what would we be looking at today?” Smith asked. “You know unfortunately, he (Snelling) did lose his life that day.”

Mayor Bobby Dyer made things clear when it comes to any policy or law changes. He said they will not happen now.

"But as of right now, my fear is that if we have this type of conversation, we are going to wind up further polarized and nothing is going to happen like it happened in so many cities in this country," Dyer said.

Dyer said people must have meaningful discussions first.

Smith said that is in fact what he is currently asking for.

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