FILE - Virginia Beach boardwalk

Virginia Beach boardwalk

(The Center Square) – A proposed Virginia Beach School Board policy that would broaden weapons restrictions is headed to a review committee after some residents raised objections at a board meeting.

Possessing a weapon on school property is already illegal, with the exception of police officers and licensed security. The proposal being considered by the board would apply the ban to any off-property school-sponsored events and to any property a school owns or leases in which board members regularly meet to perform official duties.

“The School Board designates any building or property that the School Board owns or leases where employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their duties, outside of school zones, as gun-free zones,” the proposed policy change reads.

At the board meeting, there were parents who supported the policy and some who opposed it. Parents who supported the policy argued it would prevent potential violence, but the opponents argued the broad policy could potentially punish a parent who forgets he or she has a weapon in a vehicle and leaves their car in a parking lot at one of these buildings.

School boards can legally approve these measures thanks to legislation that went into effect earlier this year. The legislation, which had support from Democratic leadership and opposition from Republican leadership, gave the boards the authority to designate such locations as gun-free zones.

If the board adopts the policy, any violation would be a Class 1 misdemeanor. It would be punishable with up to 12 months in jail and/ or a fine up to $2,500.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.