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Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Tosta Dojen

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
178
Location
Roanoke, Virginia, USA
The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) has an administrative office at 901 Chamberlayne Parkway in Richmond. The office has a sign in its public lobby reading, "NO FIREARMS OR WEAPONS ALLOWED ON THIS PROPERTY". This is a violation of Virginia's preemption statute. RRHA is a public agency subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and was created by the City of Richmond. It's therefore a locality subject to the limitations of Virginia Code §15.2-915. A search of Richmond's property tax records confirms that the property at 901 Chamberlayne Parkway is owned by RRHA.

I've written to RRHA's counsel demanding that the sign be removed, explaining that RRHA's firearms prohibition violates state law and is invalid. I've not yet received a response. Correcting this violation of law may require more focused effort and attention from local residents.

The RRHA Board of Commissioners meets in its offices at 901 Chamberlayne Parkway every third Wednesday at 5:30pm. According to that schedule, the next meeting will take place a week from today, on August 21st. Because RRHA is a public agency, the Board must permit members of the public to attend its meetings, and it has no authority to prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms.

Show of hands: Who's able to attend the next RRHA Board meeting on August 21?
 

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color of law

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
4,891
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Housing Authorities are usually ruled by the courts as public property NOT open to the public. In other words, if you are not a resident or a guest you could be charged with trespassing.
 

Tosta Dojen

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
178
Location
Roanoke, Virginia, USA
That's in the context of housing units where residents live. This is an administrative office building where the Board of Commissioners holds its public meetings.
 

Tess

Founder's Club Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
3,824
Location
Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
IIRC, the statute exempts localities and not agencies. This is how Community Service Boards are able to prohibit firearms in their areas. In our case, the CSB is part of a floor of the government center, which is not a GFZ.

I'll try to find a citation. It may have been another of the Cuccinelli opinions; I don't rightly recall.
 

Tosta Dojen

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
178
Location
Roanoke, Virginia, USA
IIRC, the statute exempts localities and not agencies.
You remember incorrectly. From Virginia Code §15.2-915:

"The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail, juvenile detention facility, or state-governed entity, department, or agency."
 

Tess

Founder's Club Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
3,824
Location
Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
You remember incorrectly. From Virginia Code §15.2-915:

"The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail, juvenile detention facility, or state-governed entity, department, or agency."
Interesting. Our Community Service Boards are county agencies, but, I believe, state governed. Guess I have more research to do.
 

Tosta Dojen

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
178
Location
Roanoke, Virginia, USA
So, what is going to be your argument? I know what I would be arguing.
I've been corresponding with Cory Wolfe, RRHA's general counsel. I've connected the dots for him by explaining the prohibition of Virginia Code §15.2-915, showing how it's applicable to RRHA, and respectfully demanding that the prohibition be rescinded. I've also been pressing the question of whether or not RRHA intends to enforce its firearms prohibition by excluding from its public meetings those citizens who are lawfully carrying. It's taken a modest amount of effort involving perhaps a half dozen e-mails over the course of a few weeks.

Here's the latest response:

Aside from the sign[...], RRHA does not have a formal or written policy concerning the lawful possession of firearms in our administrative buildings. The sign is being removed.

I'll be out of state on a family vacation for a while. I'd appreciate it if a fellow citizen could swing by the RRHA administrative office to confirm that the sign is in fact removed.
 

gutshot II

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
621
Location
Central Ky.
Great job! It is very reassuring to know there are still people that will actually expend some effort to accomplish some good for gun rights. Most just want to just talk and complain but never to anybody in power that can fix these things.
 

user

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
2,436
Location
Northern Piedmont
just a point of related interest: there are two kinds of "authorities" in Virginia; those that are instrumentalities of the Commonwealth (and thus exempt from 15.2-915) and those created either by the Commonwealth or a municipality that are not directly funded or controlled by the state government - either independent or subject to a municipal government. The latter (such as the RRHA) are subject to the statute.

I remember when they created that entity - I was a college student at VCU when they decided to clear out the (black) riff-raff living on the Southeastern side of the river. Folks who still used outhouses within the city limits. They tore out all those houses and created temporary garden plots on the land. I got the garden plot that was located where an outhouse had been. You wouldn't believe the wonderful vegetables I had that year! But I find it ironic that they work so hard to get rid of the "undesirable properties" and create "affordable public housing" as a way to clear out people they don't like. And it's also ironic that, despite their efforts to clear the "economically unviable" black folks in the '60's and '70's, the city is now mostly black. Too bad they're still working so hard to prevent the po'folks defend themselves against criminal violence.

And Henrico! Don't get me started on Henrico Co.!
 
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