By: Robert Davis
A woman who claims to have been fired from the Roanoke Department of Social Services for having a concealed carry license says she will sue the city.
Chelsea “Storm” Durham, 22, posted her claims on social media. Her tweet was retweeted more than 27,000 times before eventually being picked up by well-known gun rights advocates, such as Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent.
Durham also posted a Facebook Live video to explain her side of the story.
“I was fired today due to having a concealed carry permit,” Durham said on Facebook. “Was my gun on me? No. Has it ever been on me during my job, or visits, or anything related to work? No. When I told them that it has never been on me during work, what did they say? ‘How do we know that?’”
Roanoke officials released a statement published by The Roanoke Times shortly after Durham’s claims went viral, citing a policy not to comment on “personal matters,” adding, “In light of these assertions, however, it is important to note that the City of Roanoke respects the Constitutional rights of its citizens and that the dismissal in question was not based upon anyone’s exercise of such rights.”
Durham told the Times reasons for her termination also included unfounded performance issues, being arrogant, not paying attention during training, attendance, and not being properly dressed.
The Times reported it obtained an internal memo from City of Roanoke Human Resources Director, Michele Vineyard, who wrote, “The actions taken by the City were not based upon the former employee’s right to hold a concealed carry permit for firearms. I want to emphasize that we have no policy or procedure limiting the right of employees to hold concealed carry permits as authorized by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We respect and support the Constitutional rights of our employees as citizens.”
“I transferred to Roanoke City Social Services in October from Craig County Social Services. Honestly, I took the job because it was the first good paying job in my field I had been offered, and then I transferred to Roanoke since it is closer to my home,” Durham told Gunpowder Magazine.
Durham describes herself as a “blonde who is 5’2 and about 140 pounds who loves everything Disney, pink, and basic,” but has been “hunting, fishing, and shooting since 9-years-old and grew up knowing more about gun safety before my ABCs.”
“I’m ready to fight this,” Durham told GPM. “I plan on suing the City of Roanoke for discrimination against my constitutional right, as well as making it public knowledge of how I was treated.”
Robert Davis is a journalist from Colorado. He covers defensive gun use and Second Amendment litigation for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him at RobertDavis0414@gmail.com.
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