With the Second Amendment under siege in Virginia like never before, the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL)—the commonwealth’s foremost defender of the right to keep and bear arms—is taking proactive steps to nip local gun-control schemes at the bud.
One of the laws that Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law last week allows local governments to implement their own gun-control schemes, a dangerous precedent to be sure. Philip Van Cleave, VCDL president, said his group has already put in place a plan to battle proposed ordinances that are likely to be introduced.
“Now that the governor has signed bills into law that allow local government to implement their own gun-control, we need to get the Watch Teams for Local Governments (WTLG) committee formally implemented and running,” Van Cleave said. “A watch team, which only needs to be one individual per locality, keeps a close eye on local government, looking for any gun-related items that pop up. If anything is found, they will notify the VCDL president immediately.”
Van Cleave said watch team members are going to be VCDL's eyes and ears across the state to help fight off any local gun-control schemes that might be hatched.
“The WTLG should be watching the local county board of supervisors, city council or town council like a hawk,” he said. “Meeting agendas, which should be published prior to the meeting, should be carefully scrutinized—every meeting, every time.
“Also, keeping a watchful eye on local media—television, radio and newspapers—for any local gun-related items is important.”
Van Cleave added that there is no time to waste in getting people involved and starting to monitor local governments for anti-gun proposals.
“Some localities will undoubtedly start to get ordinances prepared before the enabling law takes effect on July 1, so we will need to start fighting any such efforts early,” he said.
Virginia residents who want more information on how to get involved can learn more at vdcl.org.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.