New poll finds support for many Democratic priorities; Gun supporters pack Virginia Beach meeting; Liberty University launches political think tank and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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• A Roanoke College poll found broad support for many Democratic priorities during the coming General Assembly session, with a majority of respondents saying they favored universal background checks for firearms purchases, red flag laws, a ban on assault weapons, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, regulations addressing climate change, a $15 minimum wage and easier access to abortion.—The Roanoke Times

• Tazewell and Roanoke counties both passed ordinances declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, bringing the total number statewide to more than 30. Tazewell went further, also passing an “order of militia” and calling for “concealed weapons training for all residents of the county who are eligible to own a gun and the teaching of firearms safety in public schools.”—Bristol Herald CourierThe Roanoke Times

• So many people calling for Virginia Beach to declare itself a Second Amendment sanctuary attended a City Council meeting last night that police blocked the doors to City Hall. The item was not on the agenda, but at least one advocate spoke during the council’s public comment period.—The Virginian-Pilot

• Police say a Richmond firefighter who was shot and killed by a stray bullet on Thanksgiving night in Hopewell was shielding her child from the gunfire, police said. “That’s what I’d expect from [a first responder].”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Virginian-Pilot pieced together the most detailed public timeline to date of the May mass shooting in a Virginia Beach municipal building.—The Virginian-Pilot

• “Virginia State Police cleared Jeff C. McKay, the Democratic chairman-elect of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, of allegations that he benefited from a quid pro quo relationship with two developers while buying his family home in 2017.”—The Washington Post

• Dominion Energy is planning to build a massive wind farm, but the company “has no experience with offshore wind, and critics say customers could be stuck with big bills if the company is not required to compete for the right to build.”—WVTF

• Liberty University says it’s launching a think tank to promote “traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs.”—The News & Advance

• Officials in Norfolk asked a resident to stop leaving winter coats for the homeless in city parks.—The Virginian-Pilot