COG Board Reverses Position On Gun Control - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

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COG Board Reverses Position On Gun Control

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Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 4:04 pm

Just ahead of what is likely to be a contentious showdown on gun control on the floor of Congress tomorrow, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments today voted to reverse its position endorsing the International Association of Police Chiefs position advocating stricter gun controls.

The COG board voted 24-4 to reconsider the March action and then 26-2 to approve a substitute motion that leaves the position on gun control up to the member localities.

Both County Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) and Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles), who represent Loudoun on the COG board, voted in support of the substitute motion.

Last month, after the COG board voted to endorse the gun control position, Loudoun’s all-Republican board voted to withhold the county’s FY14 $250,000 dues payment unless the COG board reversed the action. The money remained in the budget for FY14, with instructions to County Administrator Tim Hemstreet not to release the money unless the position is changed.

The board also sent a letter to COG Chairman Karen Lewis Young stating: “It is the position of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors that the policy resolution adopted by the MWCOG Board of Directors is both inappropriate and disrespectful of the individual positions of the member governments and our law enforcement entities.”

The letter noted that gun control “is a national and state issue, and one in which localities in Virginia are required by statute [known as the Dillon Rule] to cede to the Commonwealth.”

During Wednesday’s meeting, the new COG position seems to reflect those ideals. The approved motion states that the COG Board of Directors “encourages Directors and Member Jurisdictions to individually or collectively share their opinions regarding addressing gun violence with state and federal legislators.”

It also restates its direction for a COG committee to look at issues related to gun control, including mental health, school safety, and gun safety, with the committee reporting back to the full board within six months. The fact that the IAPC position had not been vetted through the COG committee process was another sticking point for those who opposed COG’s initial endorsement.

Along those lines, the new resolution directs COG’s executive director to “formalize criteria and a process to develop future legislative positions in conjunction with the Legislative Committee, to review the draft process with a past Board Chairs group no later than June 2013, and to include discussion of the process at the Board’s annual retreat.”

York said he was satisfied with today's action.

“It encourages those local jurisidiction who choose to do something with respect to the issue to do it, and that is the place that is appropriate,” he said this afternoon. “And it will send to the Board of Directors retreat [direction] for the board to have a discussion on what is appropriate and not appropriate for COG to get into.”

After Loudoun’s board took its stand against the COG action, other localities followed, including Frederick County, MD, the City of Manassas and Prince William County, each of which also threatened to withhold its dues. Gaithersburg, MD, and the City of Fairfax sent letters requesting reconsideration, but did not threaten to withold their dues.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • norges55 posted at 6:39 am on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    norges55 Posts: 1042

    You are correct when you say it was about the checks only it was not the NRA checks but the checks from the different localities. Money talks and the COG listened.

  • reasonsableone posted at 5:11 pm on Wed, Apr 10, 2013.

    reasonsableone Posts: 41

    Kind of sad. I guess the NRA lobbying checks must have cleared.

  • Cmckeonjr posted at 4:40 pm on Wed, Apr 10, 2013.

    Cmckeonjr Posts: 360

    Guns per capita in the United States is like no other country on earth. Guns per capita in the UK, for example, are ten percent of guns per capita in the United States. In 2011, murder from guns in DC, a city of 630,000, were more; murder from guns in the UK, a country of 63 million, were less. You can live in a country like that. All it takes is serious gun control.

    This Board of Supervisors is completely out-of-step with the country:

    "Nine in 10 Americans support expanding background checks on gun purchases in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, an extraordinary level of agreement on a political issue and a finding that’s been duplicated in nearly every major public poll.

    "Surveys show broad support spans gun owners and non-gun owners alike, Democrats and Republicans, and even among members of the National Rifle Association, whose leadership is leading efforts to spike the measure from pending legislation."