Virginia Governor Denies Second Amendment Rights at Richmond Gun Rally

Virginia Governor Denies Second Amendment Rights at Richmond Gun Rally

( – Second Amendment gun rights and the ability to protect one’s self are being threatened in Virginia ever since Democrats took over the State House a few weeks ago.

Now, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has ordered a temporary state of emergency during a gun-rights rally that’s scheduled for Monday. Approximately 50,000 people are expected to attend to protest gun control legislation introduced by Democratic legislators earlier this week.

The state of emergency includes a ban on all guns and all other weapons on capital grounds. Northam said:

“Let me be clear. These are considered credible threats by law enforcement agencies. No weapons will be allowed on capitol grounds. This includes everything from sticks and bats to chains and projectiles.”

Virginia’s Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Gun Control Bills

On Monday morning, four gun control bills were passed by Virginia’s Senate Judiciary Committee.

If passed into law, the bills would:

  • Mandate background checks on all gun purchases.
  • Temporarily allow law enforcement to take guns from those they deem a risk to others or themselves.
  • Let local governments ban weapons from specific events or government buildings.
  • Only allow one gun purchase per month.

In addition, Democrats banned guns in the capital, even for those with a concealed-carry permit. This is especially upsetting for Republicans who carry guns on the floor of the House and Senate. After the ban went into effect, some wore bright orange stickers that said, “Guns Save Lives.”

Assault on Constitutional Rights

Protestors and Republicans are questioning the legality of the gun bans.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

“We believe it is illegal what he is doing. At this point, we’re going to try to take the governor to court. So it may mean guns aren’t banned on Monday. The rally is going on no matter what.”

Virginia’s Republican leadership said in a joint statement, “We are not confident Governor Northam is adhering to the limitations placed on the governor’s authority under the Code of Virginia.”

Taking it one step further, House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R) said:

“While we are grateful for the precautions taken by law enforcement, the governor’s actions will unfortunately impede the ability of people to exercise not only their Second Amendment rights, but their First Amendment rights as well.”

Cultural Clash

At the heart of this battle is a growing cultural divide between the old Virginia and the new progressive Virginia that is largely in the Washington, D.C. area and Richmond.

More than 100 counties and municipalities have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” in fear that state officials may attempt to take their guns.

In a Washington Post article, political analyst Bob Holsworth highlighted the tension in the newly Democratic state that was once deeply red. “The (gun) movement is dangerous because it could hurt the state economically as more high-tech firms consider moving in with more progressive-minded workers. Some may not want to locate in a gun-toting state.”

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