Del. Lee Carter greets voters outside Metz Middle School in Manassas

Del. Lee Carter, D-50th, greets voters outside Metz Middle School in Manassas on Election Day, Nov. 5.

A bill sponsored by Del. Lee Carter that would make it legal for most state and local government employees—but not law enforcement officers—to go on strike has gun-rights advocates up in arms, resulting in the Manassas-area lawmaker receiving death threats, including one he reported to police last week.

Virginia Capitol Police confirmed Monday that Carter, D-50th, contacted them Tuesday, Dec. 17, to express his concern about a death threats made on Twitter. But the police department declined to comment on whether an investigation is under way. 

“There are procedures we follow regarding such matters involving members of the General Assembly or their staffs. We are currently following those procedures and will continue to do so,” Capitol Police spokesman Joe Macenka said Monday, Dec. 23. 

Carter said Monday he’s received several explicit death threats and numerous threatening messages on social media since gun-rights advocates began denouncing his bill last week but reported only one to Capitol Police. 

“I’ve reported one so far because it was so far above and beyond the rest that it seemed more like a plot than an angry rant,” Carter said. 

Gun-rights activists are upset over Carter's HB 67, which they claim is intended to fire law enforcement officers in “Second Amendment sanctuary” counties who decline to enforce new gun laws passed by the Virginia General Assembly. 

If passed, Carter’s bill would make it legal for all government employees except law enforcement officers to strike.

A Virginia law on the books for over a half century bans all Virginia government employees from striking. Carter’s bill would not change that law as it applies to law enforcement officers.

“The bill changes nothing for police. They're currently prohibited from striking, and they will continue to be, no matter what happens to my bill,” Carter said. “But if my bill passes, teachers will have that right, which they currently don’t.”

Carter first introduced the bill in January 2019 with the aim of allowing Virginia teachers to go on strike in the wake of the 2018 teacher strikes in West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona, events that occurred long before Virginia counties began passing “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions.

The original bill, which was killed in subcommittee in February 2019, would have allowed all Virginia public employees to go on strike. But according to Carter, lawmakers were concerned that allowing public safety officers to go on strike “would lead to chaos.”

“All the available data says that’s not the case, but regardless, I changed the bill for this year’s session so that it reduced who the strike ban applied [to] from all public employees to just police,” Carter said.

Meanwhile, gun rights enthusiasts have loudly denounced the bill, saying it would remove law enforcement officers from their positions if they refuse to enforce new gun laws. 

A news article posted by National Shooting Sports Foundation, the national trade association for the firearms industry, claims Carter’s bill was one of several proposed by Virginia Democrats that would take away lawfully owned firearms from Virginia residents. 

“The latest legislation pre-filed for the upcoming 2020 session is proof. Democrat Delegate Lee Carter of Manassas sponsored HB 67, which would apply to any law enforcement official, noting that those who ‘willfully refuses to perform the duties of his employment’ will be terminated and ineligible for future law enforcement employment for another year,” the article says. 

This describes what happens to striking law enforcement officers under current Virginia law, however, which would not change if HB 67 becomes law. 

Del. Nick Freitas, R-30th, also spoke out about Carter’s bill on online conservative media outlet Townhall Media. Freitas has been supportive of localities passing “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions even as Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) has said such resolutions have no force of law.

“Lee Carter has drafted a bill that will punish law enforcement and remove them from their positions for not enforcing state laws,” Freitas said on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co podcast.

Freitas did not immediately return an email seeking comment Tuesday.

Under current Virginia law, police and other law enforcement officials can be removed from their positions for willfully refusing to perform the duties of their employment. Carter’s bill would not change that. 

Virginia Flaggers, a pro-confederacy organization, also tweeted about the bill Sunday. 

“Virginia Delegate Lee Carter, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, proposes bill to fire law enforcement officers if they won't enforce unconstitutional gun laws,” the tweet said. 

Over 100 localities throughout the state have now passed “Second Amendment sanctuary” or similar resolutions that affirm county board’s support for the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment, according to the gun-rights organization Virginia Citizens Defense League. 

Prince William County adopted a measure in after midnight Wednesday, Dec. 11, declaring the county a “constitutional county.” Fauquier County’s Board of Supervisors did the same on Monday, Dec. 23. 

Some “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions aim to restrict local funding for the enforcement of any new gun laws passed by the General Assembly. The resolutions passed by Prince William and Fauquier county boards do not make such restrictions. 

Democrats, who will take the majority in both the House of Delegates and state Senate in 2020, campaigned on enacting gun safety regulations such as universal background checks, extreme risk protective orders and assault-style weapons bans.

Since the Nov. 5 election, local residents across the state have flocked to local board of supervisors’ meetings to ask elected officials to protect the Second Amendment rights of Virginians. 

Herring issued a formal opinion Dec. 20 on the actions taken by localities that have passed “Second Amendment sanctuary,” resolutions to declare themselves exempt from new gun safety laws. 

“It is my opinion that these resolutions have no legal effect. It is my further opinion that localities and local constitutional officers cannot nullify state laws and must comply with gun violence prevention measures that the General Assembly may enact,” Herring wrote.

A large gun rights rally is being planned for Monday, Jan. 20, at the Virginia Capitol building. 

Reach Daniel Berti at dberti@fauquier.com

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
0

Recommended for you

(30) comments

Captain Tripps

He, and every other grabboid in Virginia, should absolutely be scared to death. They should probably start planning their escape strategies. I hear Australia is nice this time of year.

Omarndc72

Want to see government at work go to dmv. Lol, why not privatize more of these government offices not creat more red tape. This democrat must love europe. Beautiful thing about this country, you can always leave and not come back.

InsideCommenter

Here is a hot take, how about no public workers teacher, law enforcement, or otherwise get any right to strike. They have the people of this great commonwealth counting on them.

ccw

Bingo!!

As far as I knew this is already the law for government employees. Years ago President Reagan made this crystal clear to FAA employees. They went on a work strike. He gave them a chance to return to work. They refused. He fired all of them. Of course we need to remember that Reagan was an evil Republican too!

InsideCommenter

Or we can follow common sense!

We should continue to allow union representation and collective bargaining for public workers. However going on strikes over frivolous issues like enforcing certain laws, shouldn't be allowed. Pay, and all these digressions should be dealt with at an annual or semi-annual labor-management meeting. And on Reagan, he wasn't just an evil Republican he was the *most* evil Republican, he unlike the GOP of today knew to keep a smiling face, all while he sold out our country to the 1% and destroy any sense of fiscal solvency by exploding our debt with his insane tax cuts and voodoo economics.

ccw

It appears to me that your kind of common sense is that everyone must agree with your grandiose warehouse of knowledge and sense of self importance at all times.

In agreement with you I complimented your comment using President Reagan's action as an illustration and you fired back with a boat load of garbage about President Reagan.

Common sense not. Bad attitude yes!

InsideCommenter

It's amazing how sensitive and childish you can be, commenting on every article with your perceived transgressions just further proves this.

I am sorry to say this, but there is only one objective reality. Not 'Republican' reality, or 'Democratic' reality. Criticism is a necessary part of public discourse, I offered some criticism of the bill, while not completely deriding.

Facts don't care about your feelings. And by the way 'boat load of garbage' doesn't mean anything besides 'I'm offended daddy take me away from him.'

InsideCommenter

It's amazing how sensitive and childish people can be, commenting on every article with perceived transgressions just further proves this.

I am sorry to say this, but there is only one objective reality. Not 'Republican' reality, or 'Democratic' reality. Criticism is a necessary part of public discourse, I offered some criticism of the bill, while not completely deriding every aspect.

Facts don't care about your feelings. And by the way 'boat load of garbage' doesn't mean anything besides 'I'm offended daddy take me away from him.'

ccw

InsideCommenter : You are the proverbial pot that calls everyone else's kettle black.

There isn't an article, a subject, a topic, another reader's comments or opinion that you are not able to instantly swallow whole without choking or gagging on your own snotty insults intended to either set people straight with the “real” facts or shut them up via the sheer force and power of your cleverness and superiority.

In short you are boring.

InsideCommenter

ccw: This is the prime example of cognitive dissonance.

I am simply acting as mirror, hounding those who 'instantly swallow whole without choking or gagging on their own snotty insults'. For too long ccw and her clones have polluted the comment section of this local newspaper, with simple minded rhetoric designed to be divisive. I will until you decide to use your better judgement, continuously hound these kinds of comments acting as an arbiter to better our public discourse. The fact is the cult of right wing demagogues is dangerous on every level.

In short you suck and gag on the hubris of the right wing media bubble.

ccw

InsideCommenter:

Oh would some Power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us. - Robert Burns

“I am simply acting as mirror...” Perhaps you should look into the mirror.

InsideCommenter

ccw:

The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.

- Joseph Joubert

Perhaps you should read what you write, because its obvious you don't do that. The whole objective of your so called "discussions" is to act as if you are winning some sort of civil war or words, not to further discourse and explain your perspective on the issue. Most people even if they don't agree on the issues keep things civil, you simply because of your fragility cannot allow this, and must have a perceived victory.

Look how you have to reply and "defeat" every point, lest you lose this false war of words.

ccw

My perspective is trying to figure out whether you are a new rooster that see his job as slapping a few hens around and sticking them back on their perch or are you just another barn yard chick with a chip on her shoulder?

Albeit despite everything InsideCommander I kind of enjoy our time together here and wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

InsideCommenter

Your perspective is this you are a rat colony matriarch, constantly chewing and gnawing at others, and I am simply Mr. pest control trying to clear this house of rodents. The rat colony can try to run and hide but I won't be far behind!

- Happy New Year hope you make and work on some good resolutions

InsideCommenter

That analogy is hilarious in how off mark it is. You are a rat colony matriarch, leading her brood in chewing and gnawing on this house. I am Mr. Pest Control here to clean this house of this infestation.

- Happy New Years, maybe think about making some substantive resolutions to improve and work on them.

InsideCommenter

ccw: That analogy is hilarious in how off mark it is. You are a rat colony matriarch, leading her brood in chewing and gnawing on this house. I am Mr. Pest Control here to clean this house of this infestation. - Happy New Years, maybe think about making some substantive resolutions to improve and work on them.

Allen Muchnick

All this over-the-top hysteria about *possible* common-sense laws to reduce our gun violence epidemic will eventually lead a majority of American voters to repeal the dangerous and obsolete Second Amendment.

In the 18th Century, "well-regulated militias" were deemed necessary by the state to steal land from Native Americans and to put down slave rebellions. In the 21st Century, such militias are unnecessary and undesirable, and 21st Century firearms bear very little resemblance to their 18th Century predecessors.

ccw

The Bill of Rights was adopted to protect the people from the power of a centralized government. That is why the document begins with “We The People” and it means exactly what it says. The people have the right to own, keep and use firearms to defend themselves from an out of control, overpowering government.

The militia can be formed and organized by the citizens as a stand alone team or enjoined with a state when the state's objective is to also thwart the central government's power or it can be used against the state when it is trying to over power it's own citizens.

The Bill of Rights Second Amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This is the governing legal contract between the citizens of the United States of America and their governments whether federal or state doesn't matter since the states are contracted to abide by federal accords many places elsewhere.

Virginia is now in violation of this contract several ways. They are threatening to take away from (infringe) citizens rights to own (and bear) arms and they are refusing to respect the rights of the people to form armed militias to stop them from doing it.

This has even extended to the state calling up the National Guard to enforce their “laws” if “they” deem it necessary. That is really neat. Any sheriff throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia can quickly form a militia with thousands of deputized members to stop that kind of force being used against everyday citizens.

Now pray tell me who and what is hysterical, obsolete and dangerous? Another all out Civil War to pleasure a bunch of elected egomaniacal Virginia liberals or simply abiding by the Constitution?

zcxnissan

Allen wow, that is the craziest misinterpretation of well-regulated militias I have ever heard.

JosephGeorge4Neabsco

“Since the Nov. 5 election, local residents across the state have flocked to local board of supervisors’ meetings to ask elected officials to protect the Second Amendment rights of Virginians.”

This is missing the fact that the same people have been going to the various board meetings, so the “numbers” are not local residents.

ccw

Are you saying that the same people are traveling all over the state to 100s of board of supervisors meetings like a band of circus gypsy's? Meaning that in reality there are only a few trouble makers causing state-wide problems?

The article reads that the local residents of 100s of local areas throughout the state have asked their local board of supervisors to protect their second amendment rights.

What is missing?

What is wrong about that?

What if they weren't even from Virginia?

Would that make a difference?

Even if they were asking Virginia's elected politicians to stand up and protect our nation's Constitutionally guaranteed rights instead of siding with local liberal power mongrels that routinely ignore it?

Could it be that they understand that is exactly what is now happening in the Commonwealth of Virginia?

zcxnissan

Can you say hoax.

Omarndc72

Another mental ill Democrat. What woud a government employee have to protest for? They barely work lol.

ccw

This is 100% look at me, me, me hogwash!

Twitter is the epitome of filthy mouthed garbage a very large part of which attacks President Trump non-stop.

Jfredburks

So the Government may fire a police officer for not following a gun law...but elected officials that sanction sanctuary cities ARE NOT REMOVED FROM OFFICE? How did Virginia get so screwed up.....

ccw

“How did Virginia get so screwed up..... ”

1. Massive numbers of immigrants (legal & illegal) imported into the state.

2. Huge numbers of north eastern liberals moved into northern Virginia, Richmond and Tidewater areas.

3. Democrats take over control of the state.

Other than an occasional fake death threat everybody is supposedly happy!

Allen Muchnick

Virginia has no "sanctuary cities", Federal immigration officers are not inhibited from doing their job in any way.

JosephGeorge4Neabsco

Allen, stop trying to make sense to these posters, since the majority of them can not comprehend common sense.

zcxnissan

Joseph the only ones who can't comprehend common sense are the ones still complaining about 2016.

zcxnissan

Not true Alexandria declared themselves a sanctuary city.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
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.