The newly Democrat-controlled Virginia legislature begins hearing testimony on a raft of gun control bills today at the capitol in Richmond. Bills under consideration include an “assault weapons” ban, “large capacity” magazine ban, red flag confiscations, universal background checks and more.
Hearings today will be held by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. The NRA called for the state’s gun owners to show attend and let the committee know that Old Dominion gun owners — as evidenced by Second Amendment sanctuary movement that’s swept the state — will not be disarmed.
There are more than 100 such sanctuaries now, the result of a grassroots movement that highlights how the gun debate divides along regional and partisan lines as well as the influence of grassroots gun activists and lobbying groups.
“Gun control has been seen as purely partisan for quite some time, but it was really urban vs. rural,” said Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College and author of multiple books on guns and politics. “They were correlated, but not nearly as strongly as they are now.”
Both sides of the issue have ratcheted up the rhetoric among supporters. Both sides warn that the words and actions of the other side will lead to a “civil war.” Gun owners have accused local government leaders unwilling to become gun sanctuaries as “traitors” and committing “treason.”
– Amy Friedenberger in Rural Virginia Democrats once backed by NRA feel the pressure from gun rights groups
Magpul airlifted 1000 PMAG’s for attendees in support of the gun rights effort effort.
That apparently triggered the delicate flowers at the CSGV:
Abhorrent and dangerous.
Handing out magazines at a lobby day. This is an incitement to political violence by the @NRA. They are fanning the flames of extremism and their actions should be condemned and rejected by officials of all political parties. https://t.co/BtN0rYU13U
— Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (@CSGV) January 13, 2020
As Patriot Picket‘s Jeff Hulbert reports, Virginia gun owners have answered the NRA’s call to pack the hearing room and capitol.