Push for Hunting Weapons in Cars at Fairfax County Government Parking Lots

An unusual legal controversy in Fairfax County involves crossbows and other hunting weapons and whether a new state law allows employees to take them to work.

Fairfax County government employees soon will be allowed to take guns as far as the parking lots where they work.

The new state legislation is part of a recent push by gun rights groups for broader acknowledgment of Virginia's existing gun laws. While Virginia residents have long been able to visit state or local government facilities with guns in their vehicles, Fairfax County employees were forbidden to do so by county employment policies.

The laws concerning guns and government employees is the same as it is for citizens of Virginia -- the gun has to stay in the car.

Randy Creller, a sportsman and the Chairman of the Fairfax County Government's Employee Advisory Council said employees would like the opportunity to be able to keep guns and other hunting equipment -- bows, arrows, hunting knives -- in their cars while at work.

“You have to be able to bring your equipment with you to be able to use it after work and many of us commute,” he said. “Over 50 percent of the employee population commutes, and it’s just unfeasible to go home, pick up your equipment and then go participate.”

“They were concerned about women carrying mace in their purses,” said Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, who chairs the committee that will revise the policy. “Mace is not considered a weapon.”

She noted the new law applies only to guns and ammunition.

“What the board’s personnel committee approved and will go to the board is guns only,” she said. “However, our employee advisory committee asked for some alternate language that would look at other kinds of weapons.”

The matter will be the subject of a public hearing in December.

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