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Advocates Rally Against Gun Control: 'We Could Have Been Moving Gun Rights Forward'

Protesters with signs stand near a green fence.
Powhatan County resident John Dickinson (pictured with the red sign) said gun rights aren't about hunting or defense, but about preventing tyranny.  (Photo: Crixell Matthews)

Hundreds of gun-rights activists rallied at the state capital on Monday against proposed gun control measures that Democrats plan to reintroduce this upcoming General Assembly session.

Bob Good is on the Campbell County Board of Supervisors, which passed a resolution making the county a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”  Dozens of Virginia counties have supported similar resolutions.

“We’re sending a message to Governor Northam and the General Assembly, hands off our constitution, hands off our rights and hands off our guns,” Good said at Monday’s rally.

The Virginia First Foundation organized the event it called the “God. Family. Guns.” rally. Governor Northam has made it a priority for Democrats to pass legislation to ban assault-style weapons and require universal background checks among other measures when they take control of the General Assembly in January.

Organizers said those proposals violate their second amendment rights.

Philip Van Cleave speaks into a microphone.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. (Photo: Crixell Matthews)

“If gun owners got off their rear ends and voted, if they didn’t sit around complacently, you might be surprised the color of this state,” Philip Van Cleave, head of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said. He chastised conservatives for allowing Democrats to take control of the General Assembly following the November Elections, turning the state blue. 

“We could have been moving gun rights forward,” he said. “Now we’re going to fight to stand still,” Van Cleave said.

The General Assembly session begins Jan. 8th, 2020.