Virginia Beach workers should be able to carry guns on the job, petition says

A petition calling for Virginia Beach employees to carry guns on the job is gaining traction after a mass shooting at a municipal building.

The petition has received hundreds of additional online signatures after a city worker on May 31 used a gun to kill 12 people before police shot him to death, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

Vincent Smith, a city employee, was “reeling” from the deadly shooting at his workplace when he decided to renew his call for allowing employees to bring guns to work, according to the newspaper.

The petition calls on leaders to let licensed city employees carry concealed weapons on the job. The online request had more than 2,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

The petition, called “Allow Employees of Virginia Beach to Defend their Lives During Workplace Violence,” has been around for three years, WVEC reports.

Recently, supporters in online comments said ending Virginia Beach’s employee gun ban would have made a difference during the fatal shooting.

“I was there and helped a gunshot victim that I KNOW would not have been shot had other employees other than the shooter been armed,” user Rebecca Lear said on

But not everyone has been on board with arming workers.

Virginia Beach residents have said “allowing more guns will only add confusion in active shooting situations,” WAVY reports.

The issue last week came before the city council, which “decided to defer an official vote” on a bill that would let local governments ban guns from municipal buildings, according to WTKR.

“The majority of council members said there needs to be a bigger conversation before making a final a decision,” the station reports.