Virginia social worker quickly became a right-wing gun martyr – but her story is falling apart
After claiming she was fired for having a permit to carry a concealed weapon, a former Virginia social worker’s story has fallen apart.
Charlottesville’s Daily Progress newspaper reported Wednesday that the claims behind the firing of Chelsea “Storm” Durham, a 22-year-old gun rights advocate who was employed by the city of Roanoke’s social services department, were debunked by a memo she provided to a local news station.
In the memo, which Durham provided to local Roanoke station WSLS, the city’s department said she was fired for “failing to perform tasks required by the job” after a series of correctional meetings with her superiors that began the month she was hired.
On March 9, Durham posted on Twitter that she’d been fired due to her possession of a concealed carry permit.
I was fired today. From Roanoke City Social Services, serving as a damn good social worker. I was fired for having a concealed carry permit. Not the gun, the permit. I was escorted by 3 city police officers bc I am a "safety risk to the building"# p #5_11 # ad skipped = true #
— Storm Durham (@chelstorrm) March 10, 2018# p #6_11 # ad skipped = true #
Her story went viral among right-wing blogs shortly thereafter, and as Heavy reported, launched a fundraising page and a YouTube channel named “The Conservative Storm.”
In the memo she brought to the TV station, the Daily Progress noted, the city said Durham was brought in for six meetings about her performance and workplace behavior. The issues discussed ranged from the way she dressed in the office to attendance and professionalism concerns.
The city of Roanoke released a statement the day after Durham’s post went viral that addressed and denied her claims. The city also defended their commitment to Second Amendment protections.
The City of Roanoke, Virginia has put out a statement In regards to the Roanoke Social Services worker Storm (Chelsea) Durham. pic.twitter.com/UKCtQ2bYLI# p #10_11 # ad skipped = true #
— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) March 11, 2018# p #11_11 # ad skipped = true #