Virginia Democrats voted to ban guns in both the State Capitol building and legislative offices Friday, in the first of many expected moves to suppress the 2nd Amendment across the Commonwealth.
The vote caused an uproar among elected officials and constituents alike as just a handful of legislators – members of the Democrat-dominated Joint Rules Committee – were permitted to cast votes.
“You would think that the elected representatives of the people would be the ones who pass this policy,” said House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert.
“The Joint Rules Committee, which is just a handful of people, has passed this rule.”
State Senator Amanda Chase joined Gilbert in outspoken opposition to the party-line vote, saying the battle to preserve gun rights is not “Republican versus Democrat” but “American versus un-American.”
Chase, who built a large following in recent months as an unapologetic gun-toting legislator, is known for regularly carrying a sidearm to work, having both open and concealed carried her .38 caliber handgun on the Senate floor.
“The Democrats are liars,” Chase said. “They say they are for women, but they will not allow us to protect ourselves.”
House Democrats tried to pawn the action off on Capitol Police, claiming the ban came amidst recommendations from law enforcement.
“This is something that has been recommended by our Capitol Police,” said House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, a Democrat from Alexandria.
“There are times when we sort of have to trust what our law enforcement officers are telling us.” House Speaker and fellow Northern Virginia Democrat Eileen Filler-Corn backed up Herring’s statement.
“Again, this is being recommended by Colonel Pike,” said Filler-Corn, referring to the Chief of the Capitol Police.
Despite the claims of Democrat leadership, Capitol Police made very clear that they recommended no such ban, and are completely uninvolved with promoting or recommending policy changes.
“Colonel Pike neither writes nor lobbies for General Assembly rules or legislation. He enforces them,” said Capitol Police in a statement designed to “clear up any misconceptions.”
While the new rules will not be enforced on legislators, with Capitol Police citing Virginia statutes prohibiting the arrest of lawmakers during legislative sessions, it will most certainly be enforced on private citizens, something Governor Northam and fellow Democrats have applauded, and are even looking to expand.
According to a report from the Washington Post, Northam’s office is exploring options for banning weapons in outdoor areas of Capitol Square, in an effort to suppress the VCDL’s January 20th Lobby Day demonstration.
According to organizers, the event could draw tens of thousands of attendees and is expected to be the largest ever, as the 2nd Amendment sanctuary movement has mobilized an army of grassroots gun rights activists statewide.