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Gun rights supporters need signatures to make Norfolk City Council add 2nd Amendment resolution to the agenda

Newly formed 'Second Amendment Preservation Coalition' is filing a ballot petition, which needs 1,250 signatures.

NORFOLK, Va. — Gun rights supporters are taking a new route to get Norfolk City Council to vote on a Second Amendment resolution.

They have attended the last three meetings, including Tuesday night. But, now they are going after signatures. 

"Since this council refuses to act, the newly formed 'Second Amendment Preservation Coalition' is filing a ballot petition called the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance," said a member of the Republican Party of Norfolk. 

The new group is on a mission to collect 1,250 signatures and make the conversation part of the next agenda. 

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"Over the last 30 days, there have been five robberies and a homicide within a mile from my house," said a Norfolk resident. "I have the utmost respect for the Norfolk Police Department, but they are not superheroes. 

Many speakers mentioned they want to send a message to Richmond. They are worried that Norfolk is one of the last cities to do so.

"What is so different about Norfolk that almost all of Hampton Roads has become a constitutional city in some way or another," said a Norfolk resident. 

The frequent visits from gun rights supporters are not enough to get all Norfolk City Council Members on board with a vote.

"Our rules state that a majority of council members have to allow or ask for something to be put on the agenda," said Councilman Thomas Smigiel. "There is not a majority of council members interested in putting something on the agenda." 

Supporters said they will file to start gathering signatures Wednesday morning. The next formal city council meeting is Tuesday, February 25. 

The council also unanimously approved the next steps in the St. Paul's redevelopment project. City Council voted to move forward with the first two buildings that would replace public housing.

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13News Now was there last week as small groups protested the plans. One group even filed a lawsuit. But Tuesday, no one spoke against it during public comment.

Councilwoman Angelia Graves said it's time to get started.

"I don't ever expect that 100 percent of all of our residents will always be happy with everything that happens," Graves said. "But, I believe that the majority of residents with St. Paul's appreciate what we are doing. They understand what we are doing. We have been talking about it long enough. Now, we are finally acting on it. And because we are keeping them informed, they are pleased."