With radical Virginia Democrats pledging all manner of gun control following November’s election, the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has planned a lobby day for January 20, 2020 in Richmond. In their press release, they wisely urged folks to leave their long guns at home.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League has a proven and distinguished record for getting results for gun owners in the Old Dominion state. And Philip Van Cleave has proven himself a very sharp and capable leader.
Monday, January 20, is VCDL’s Lobby Day. It is not VCDL’s Protest Day.
There is a distinct difference between the two.
Lobby Day is about, well, lobbying – sending a message to the General Assembly and to the Governor, Attorney General, and the Lt. Governor. That message is simple: no more gun control that in any way, shape, or form negatively affects law-abiding gun owners. Bills that go after criminals or bills that are beneficial to gun owners are fine.
While there have been some verbal threats by the Democrat leadership to push major gun control down the throats of Virginia’s gun owners and some very bad bills already filed to back up that threat, NOTHING has happened yet and won’t until after January 8. And perhaps it won’t happen at all, if we press hard enough.
The sanctuary movement, with its absolutely massive turnouts of gun owners, is sending a deafening message to lawmakers ahead of Lobby Day. On top of that, we now believe the size of the crowd on Lobby Day could be absolutely incredible, possibly historic, if gun owners from around the state follow through and attend as we believe they will. You will absolutely want to be a part of this!
Various militia groups from Virginia and nearby states have graciously volunteered to provide security. With a large Capitol, Richmond, and State police presence, not to mention enough citizens armed with handguns to take over a modern mid-sized country, we have the security base covered nicely. That said, we welcome our militia brothers and sisters to be part of making the day a success! Some militia groups are looking to take canned food donations during Lobby Day and deliver them to a Richmond Food Bank.
If you are asking how you can help with VCDL’s mission, carrying long guns at Lobby Day is not helpful – it is a distraction. VCDL’s important messages inevitably get lost as the press rushes to get pictures of anyone carrying an AR or AK. The stories then become about the rifle, not VCDL’s agenda. You can set your watch by it. Long guns are not easy to carry in a crowd, either. VCDL needs its voice heard loud and clear in order to able to stop the onslaught of gun-control bills.
Laws you need to know for carry in Richmond
You can’t have a magazine in a centerfire rifle or pistol that holds more than 20 rounds unless you have a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP). You must also have a CHP if the centerfire rifle or pistol has a threaded barrel or a folding stock. Click here to see the code section, which also covers similar restrictions on shotguns: 18.2-287.4
Open carry without a CHP is legal in Virginia, but watch the restrictions in the previous paragraph.
You need a CHP to carry in the General Assembly or Capitol Building. Once through security, you can carry openly or concealed in the buildings. You cannot carry in the gallery over the Senator Floor. Keep an eye on these alerts. Should any of this change, we will notify you here.
VCDL Lobby Day is a peaceful event about gun rights and NOTHING ELSE
We are NOT there to have arguments with the other side. They lobby, we lobby, and never the two shall meet. Just ignore them.
And we are not there to push any other agenda. Our total focus is on protecting our right to keep and bear arms. Period. This is not about flags, statues, history, etc. Just guns.
If you somehow find yourself being harassed by the other side, don’t engage them. They could well be baiting you and recording what you do for propaganda purposes. If necessary, go find a police officer and let them take care of the person causing the disturbance. Otherwise, just ignore them and go about your business.
VCDL has a great relationship with the Capitol Police, the Richmond Police, the Virginia State Police, and most other law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth. We welcome their presence and are glad they are there to keep everything peaceful, while we work on the job at hand.
This should be a great event, with freedom-loving Americans from all walks of life standing should-to-should to protect our most precious civil right – the right of self-defense. See you there!
That section above on long guns has a few people riled up. Once again, the section asking people not to bring long guns.
If you are asking how you can help with VCDL’s mission, carrying long guns at Lobby Day is not helpful – it is a distraction. VCDL’s important messages inevitably get lost as the press rushes to get pictures of anyone carrying an AR or AK. The stories then become about the rifle, not VCDL’s agenda. You can set your watch by it. Long guns are not easy to carry in a crowd, either. VCDL needs its voice heard loud and clear in order to able to stop the onslaught of gun-control bills. [emphasis added]
Obviously they had to know that asking people – passionate activists – to leave their long guns at home would cause some grumbling. And they gave a clear and concise reason for their request. They correctly note that, for this day at least, open carry would prove a distraction from their focused (traditional) lobbying message.
We all know how the media loves sensationalist photos of people toting long guns in public. Frankly, it scares a lot of non-gun folks. And VCDL leaders know how people who are scared of guns usually don’t embrace gun ownership very readily. Or gun rights.
However, “shocking” photos and video make for great sensationalism. They get clicks and viewers for the mainstream fake-news media.
It’s understandable that VCDL leadership want to play nice before they opt for the sharp elbows approach. Their people have noted that if the Lobby Day doesn’t go well, they will return – with long guns in hand – for Protest Day. That day will accomodate people itching for a less subtle communication approach.
After all, if Virginia falls as New York State did — or Colorado or New Jersey — then the gun-grabbers will move on from there. Maybe to Florida, for instance. Don’t think for a minute your state is safe.