VIRGINIA, USA — Thousands are set to rally in Richmond Monday to show their support for gun rights.
According to the rally organizer, Virginia Citizens Defense League, it’s known as ‘Lobby Day’, not ‘protest day’.
VCDL President Phillip Van Cleave said in a statement that lobby day is about lobbying for “no more gun control” in Virginia.
The push for no more control has ramped up in Virginia over the last few months, accelerating when democrats took the majority in the commonwealth following November’s election for the first time in 26 years.
That immediately raised skepticism on the right, and the left proposed stricter gun laws.
That led to cities, towns, and counties to pass their own legislation to deem the area a second amendment sanctuary.
A surge of regions were passing local legislation, and that prompted Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to release his legal opinion that proposed gun laws will be enforced despite opposition.
Several local leaders spoke out about several pre-filed gun bills, including Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins who said he would rather deputize people than take their guns away.
"It is my duty to do everything in my power to protect them, and if it means me swearing in thousands of people in this community as deputy sheriffs, auxiliary deputies, that's what I will do,” Jenkins said on January 7. One day before the legislative session started.
Three proposed gun control laws have passed the senate.
Senate Bill 35 would give the power to local jurisdictions to prohibit guns in any form from a public space during an event.
Senate Bill 70 would require a background check for any firearm transfer. Without one, the seller could be found guilty of a felony. There are exemptions to this bill, including but not limited to if you transfer a gun between family members or a land trust, if it’s an antique, or if it’s at a shooting range and you let somebody use it.
Senate Bill 69 would limit handgun purchases. Prohibiting anyone who’s not a legal firearm dealer from buying more than one gun within a 30-day period. Again, there are exemptions including if you’re in law enforcement or security if you’ve had someone steal your gun, if you’ve purchased the gun from a private sale, or if it is an antique.
Those bills will now go to the house for consideration, so gun-rights advocates are planning a pro-gun rally on Monday.
Organizer Phillip Van Cleave previously said they’re expecting 130,000 armed attendees from across the country.
He made a statement on the group’s website that said the lobby day will be a peaceful event about gun rights and nothing else.