July 09, 2019
By Virginia Citizens Defense League
Governor Northam is engaging in a despicable act of political theater after the Virginia Beach tragedy in order to deflect attention from his recent scandals and to pay back ex-New York Governor Michael Bloomberg for his massive contributions to Democrat candidates during the last election.
Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to do nothing but pass more gun control!
Governor Northam seeks to penalize law abiding gun owners without harming criminals.
The stated purpose according to the Governor is to avoid having another Virginia Beach-type massacre. The trouble is that not a single piece of legislation that Northam is pushing would have changed anything in Virginia Beach:
- Red Flag laws - forget the unconstitutionality of this law, no one thought the Virginia Beach murderer to be a threat, so that law would have changed nothing
- Universal Background Checks - the Virginia Beach murderer passed at least two background checks, just like the Virginia Tech murderer. And street thugs don't go through background checks to get their guns
- One Handgun a Month - the murderer bought the two handguns he used a year apart, not even a month apart
- "Assault Weapon" ban - no "assault weapons" were used in the Virginia Beach massacre. Long guns are rarely ever used in crime
- Magazine-capacity limits - the commission on the Virginia Tech massacre concluded that restricting magazine size would not have changed the outcome
- Silencer/suppressor ban - it is extremely rare that a lawfully owned suppressor is used in a crime. They are not popular with criminals because 1) the gun shot is still loud and 2) it doubles the length of a handgun, making it much more difficult to conceal
- Bump-stock ban - bump stocks have only been used in one crime, out in Nevada and there is no evidence that it increased the number of injuries or fatalities
- Allow local government to implement gun control (get rid of firearm pre-emption law) - the Virginia Beach government building was already a "gun-free zone." What are they going to do, make it a double-gun-free-zone? This legislation would make gun laws in Virginia extremely hard to comply with, benefiting criminals, who don't care about laws, and dissuading good people due to the complexities of carrying legally as they travel through the state
- Punish those who've had a gun stolen if they don't report it quick enough - as if having your gun stolen isn't bad enough, you will get punished by the State if you don't report it fast enough. How do you prove you reported the theft within the arbitrary timeframe the law would require?
- Charge gun owners with a felony if a child has access to loaded gun - this includes a "child" who is a 17-year-old, has broken into your locked house, and found a loaded gun in your nightstand! There have been many cases where someone under 18 has used a firearm to save their life during a home invasion. That would get the parent a felony charge under this law.
What Can I Do to Protect My Right to Keep and Bear Arms?
1. Click here to send an editable email to your legislators and tell them "NO MORE GUN CONTROL!" The system automatically figures out who your legislators are based on your address and your Zip Code + 4 [FREE]
2. Come to the General Assembly Building in Richmond at 9 am on Tuesday, July 9. You will be given a "Guns Save Lives" sticker to wear and will go into the General Assembly to lobby as one of many teams. No lobbying experience is necessary! If you have a concealed handgun permit, you can carry. CHANGED LOCATION: We will be marshaling at the intersection of 10th and Bank streets, where teams will be formed and sent into the General Assembly Building.
3. Click here to join the other 29,000 subscribers to VCDL's email alert system [FREE]. That will keep you up-to-date on what's happening at the General Assembly as it pertains to guns, and anything else gun related that you should know about, including news items.
4. Return to this page periodically to check for updates.
5. Click here to join VCDL and/or click here to contribute to VCDL.
Click here for carpool locations around the state. We are coordinating carpooling by having people post their availability on the Lobby Day event Facebook page.
Capitol Area Parking
Unfortunately, July 9th is not a holiday, so there is no free street-parking. Click here for a map showing parking locations in Richmond near the Capitol. There is active construction on what will eventually be the new General Assembly Building at 9th and Broad, so traffic might be detoured in some places.
Here are more public parking places that have been identified:
111 North 8th Street Garage (attached to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church) - Map: https://imgur.com/3ArXqPe | Street View of Entrance: https://imgur.com/yUbtYEb
108 North 8th Street Garage - Map: https://imgur.com/04nRd7V | Street View of Entrance: https://imgur.com/vpFviyA
629 East Broad Street Lot - Map: https://imgur.com/a41Ttj3 | Street View of Entrance: https://imgur.com/vjmqxXs
116 North 7th Street Lot - Map: https://imgur.com/5ZGl2w9 | Street View of Entrance: https://imgur.com/UEltxR6
106 East Marshall Street Garage - Map: https://imgur.com/oFDlFqp | Street View of Entrance: https://imgur.com/4RMVqMC
1110 East Cary Street Garage - Map: https://imgur.com/LnnSLvw | Street View of Entrance: https://imgur.com/J6X4VNc
Schedule for Lobby Day and Rally
- We will muster at 10th and Banks streets between 8:30 am and 9 am. We will enter the building as a series of teams.
- You can carry a handgun at the General Assembly Building, openly or concealed, if you have a concealed handgun permit. Just advise the officer as you approach the metal detectors that you have a concealed handgun permit. Show the permit and your photo ID to the officer.
- (If you arrive late, after the teams have headed it, look for other gun owners that arrived late and form an ad hoc team. Your ad hoc team should then go to the offices of the Senator and Delegate for each member of your team. Be sure to advise the legislator or the legislative aide that you have team members that are constituents. Another option is to just go into the General Assembly Building and find another VCDL team and join them.)
- The teams will lobby from 9 am until 11:45 am, then everyone will head to the Bell Tower on the Capitol grounds near 9th and Bank streets
- The Lobby Day rally will begin at 12 noon and run until 1 pm. We will have several speakers. Be sure to hang around at the end of the rally for our photograph of the entire crowd!
- After the rally ends, people should get a quick lunch and return to the General Assembly Building. If you haven't yet stopped by your senator or delegate's office (teams don't necessarily go to offices of all their members), then this would be a good time to do so.
- VCDL will be announcing via email (VA-ALERT), Twitter, and VCDL's Facebook page, the location of any committee or subcommittee meetings that afternoon. We need to flood those committee and/or subcommittee rooms. If you don't have a way to check for email, Twitter, or Facebook, hang around with someone who does. Push-come-to-shove we will have someone standing near the help desk in the lobby area (right after you pass through the metal detectors) who can provide stratus updates
- If you wish to speak at a committee or subcommittee hearing, you don't need to register. They usually call for speakers that oppose a bill and then call for speakers that support the bill. Step up and the appropriate time and give your name and general location (Richmond, Hannover, etc.). Keep your comments short and to the point. Try to take no more than 2 or 3 minutes, less if possible. If you are merely agreeing with someone else, just say that. Succinctness is appreciated by all!
- Once the committees and subcommittees are done for the day, we will advise using email (VA-ALERT), Twitter, and VCDL's Facebook page. At that time, we are done and everyone can go home.
- Please check VA-ALERT at night or in the morning for a schedule of hearings on the next day. If you can make it to help fill those rooms and/or to speak, that would be excellent! We hope it will all be over by the end of the week, but we really don't know when it will end.
Lobby Day Speakers (so far)
Virginia Citizens Defense LeagueAddress: PO. Box 513, Newington, VA 22122Phone: 804-639-0600 • 703-372-3285 • 757-271-3705 • 540-446-5783www.vcdl.org
- Erich Pratt, senior vice-president, Gun Owners of America
- Vincent Smith, employee at Virginia Beach Government Building #2, fighting for right of employees to carry
- Maj Toure, founder, Black Guns Matter
- Brandon Howard, Right to Bear Arms, Richmond
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Where’s Trump? This is his backyard. Will he be MIA for yet another state gun ban?]
UPDATE: Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners & Lobby Day Results
VCDL thanks all of you who attended Lobby Day today! The line to enter the General Assembly wrapped around the building! Our eighteen lobbying teams and other members where everywhere. It was a wonderful sight to behold!
Thanks also to those who could not attend today, but who sent those emails and made those telephone calls! Your efforts, too, made a difference.
Do I think the flood of gun owners at Lobby Day and the barrage of emails made a difference? YES!
SENATOR TOMMY NORMENT CORRECTS A MISTAKE
Republican Senate Majority Leader, Tommy Norment, withdrew SB 4013, which was his bill that would have banned carry in government buildings. (VCDL members sent a massive number of emails to Senator Norment protesting that bill.) Senator Norment explained that the bill was incorrectly drafted due to a communication issue between himself and Legislative Services. VCDL thanks Senator Norment for doing the right thing and striking that bad gun-bill from the docket!
YOUR ACTIVISM PAID OFF, AS A POTENTIAL DISASTER HAS BEEN AVERTED FOR NOW
The battle is not over, but today was an important day for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Republican Party's leadership in both the Senate and the House wanted to find some real solutions to violence in our society, not just ram through useless gun control in an act of political theater. So with their leadership's guidance, the Republican legislators stood together and sent all of the gun bills (except for the gun bill that Senator Norment struck) to the Virginia State Crime Commission for careful study and consideration.
Both the House and Senate then adjourned until mid-November, when the State Crime Commission would report back on their study, providing recommendations for the General Assembly.
(The Republicans also did the fiscally responsible thing by adjourning until November, because it costs taxpayers over $40,000 per day for the General Assembly to be in the Special Session! That is a lot of money wasted just so the Governor could deflect attention from his scandals, while not actually finding a solution to the pointless violence perpetrated in Virginia Beach.)
If you are represented by Republican legislators, be sure to thank them. Thank the Republican leadership, too.
Here is the joint letter from the Speaker of the House, Kirk Cox, and Senate Majority Leader, Tommy Norment, on using the State Crime Commission:
IF GUN OWNERS DO NOT GET ACTIVE IN THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER, IT WILL BE DISASTROUS !
The balance of power between pro-self-defense legislators and anti-self-defense legislators is truly razor thin in both the House and the Senate. We MUST get back the seats lost in the last election. If the Democrat leadership takes control of the House and Senate, we are going to see massive amounts of gun control coming our way. It could transform Virginia as we know it.
What can you do?
- If you have good legislators running in your district, send them money, knock on doors for them, man phone banks, ask their campaign staff for other ways you can help
- If you don't have good legislators, such as is the case for many members in NoVA, you are NOT lost or helpless: find good candidates in another district near you and support them instead! Those good candidates can counter the bad votes of your legislators during the General Assembly sessions
- If you're not already a VCDL member, JOIN! With nearly 30,000 subscribers to VA-ALERT, it would be great if more than the current 7,000 are paying members. In addition to the terrific volunteer efforts made by VCDL members and VA-ALERT subscribers, actual membership numbers count when we work to advance our pro-self-defense agenda in the General Assembly. I would like to be able to go to the General Assembly in November and say that our membership has doubled due to the War on Self-Defense declared by the Democrat leadership.
- If you're already a VCDL member, get your family, friends, shooting, and hunting buddies to JOIN, too. This is a war that will determine whether or not we will have the means to defend ourselves in the future. None of us can sit this out.
SO MANY GREAT PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS TO THANK, AS WELL
Special thanks to the following people for having made Lobby Day a success:
- All the Team Leaders
- Our excellent rally speakers: Erich Pratt (GOA), Vincent Smith, Maj Toure (Black Guns Matter, who came all the way from Philadelphia!), Brandon Howard (VCDL, Right to Bear Arms Richmond), Pat Webb (VCDL), Bruce Jackson (VCDL), and Brendan Mooney (VCDL). You can watch their speeches once the Lobby Day video is ready
- Bruce Jackson for transporting massive amounts of supplies, working late into the night on Monday stuffing the folders that were given to all 140 legislators, and so much more
- Pat Webb, who helped keep an eye on a variety of things for me, including social media
- Jim Snyder for help with gun bill analysis and helping with policy decisions
- John Pierce for gun bill analysis, bill drafting, and updating the VCDL Legislative Tracking System
- Tess Ailshire for her help with a variety of things, including social media
- Ken Van Wyk for organizing the teams
- Bob Sadtler for helping me with lobbying and keeping a careful eye on gun bills and committee meetings
- Dennis O'Connor for a variety of things, including watching my back during the rally
- Gary Moeller and Brendon Mooney for promoting Lobby Day in Southeast Virginia
- Al Steed and his helpers for promoting Lobby Day in Southwest Virginia
And finally, a big thank you goes to both the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America. VCDL was proud to work with both organizations to achieve our shared goal of protecting the rights of Virginia's gun owners!