Stray Bullet Incident

Contact: Lissa Savaglio
Chair Loudoun County Democratic Committee

Stray Bullet Incident

Hamilton, VA, September 10, 2019 – Due to insufficient county ordinances, unfortunately, Loudoun County is yet again dealing with another stray bullet incident as a result of reckless shooting of guns in our neighborhoods. We, at the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, are thankful that the woman who was struck by a bullet yesterday only sustained minor injuries and wish her a speedy recovery. It is a miracle that the numerous stray bullet incidents that have occurred in Loudoun County have only resulted in minor injuries and property damage. The county can no longer wait to address the negligent shortcomings in our county shooting ordinances. If we fail to make the needed changes, we are inviting a tragedy.

The Republican members of the Board of Supervisors have consistently blocked simple changes to our ordinances that would have made us safer. They have blocked the following changes:
● Increasing the no-shoot zone around homes; and
● Increasing the no-shoot zone around roads; and
● Requiring owners of backyard shooting ranges to install safety berms or other impermeable barriers; and
● Extending the no-shooting area in the county west of the Suburban Policy Area.

The current ordinances pretend that Loudoun is a county that is as rural as it was 30 years ago. That is simply not the case as our population has grown from about 87,000 in 1990 to well over 400,000 today. We have changed as a county, and our ordinances need to change as well. “The time has come for Republican members of the Board of Supervisors to live up to their responsibility to work in a bipartisan manner with Chair Randall and Supervisors Umstattd and Saines to pass real protections for Loudoun residents,” said LCDC Chairwoman Lissa Savaglio.

In the last year, we have had multiple instances of stray shootings of occupied homes, including one that occurred during a baby shower last October. Yet as recently as February 2019, the Republican-led Board of Supervisors denied updating ordinances to match surrounding areas in Virginia because “it would be too expensive for homeowners,” even as law enforcement has been unable to charge anyone because the ordinances are inappropriate.

It is abundantly clear why the GOP refuses to update out-of-date ordinances; they care more about what the NRA wants than what will make Loudoun residents safer. Why do they follow the NRA’s lead? Perhaps it has something to do with the $215,000 the NRA has given to VA GOP leadership in 2019 alone.

Today we call on all elected officials in Loudoun County to work together to update our local ordinances and better protect our children, families, and community.