Virginia Gun Rights Rally: What Went Down

If you weren’t aware, recently there was a gun rights rally held in Richmond. The protest was in response to the introduction of the “Red Flag” gun law. The law essentially states that the government would be allowed to revoke the rights to own firearms for individuals deemed as a substantial risk to themselves or others. The law would require an officer of the law or an attorney for the Commonwealth to apply for an emergency substantial risk order which then will revoke the rights of that citizen to own or bear arms. 

The protest was one that had many people concerned about safety. Several protesters would be bringing their firearms and even employing the use of armored vehicles during the rally. This brought concerns of previous protesting events, such as the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville a few years ago in 2017. This rally was spurred on by the proposal that the statue depicting Confederate soldier Robert E. Lee be removed. Hundreds of white nationalists showed up in protest of the statue’s removal. As you may remember, while this protest was for an entirely different issue, the protest very quickly became deadly when a protester drove their vehicle into the crowd, as well as the death of two troopers who were killed in a helicopter crash. 

Because of the heightened concern surrounding possible violence they had tightened security and people were on very high alert. Governor Ralph Northam even declared a temporary state of emergency to ban the use of open and concealed firearms and other weapons from the state capitol grounds. The only arrest performed was on a woman who had repeatedly been asked to remove a bandana she had been wearing that covered her face. She refused to do so and was arrested for the felony count of wearing a mask in public. Amidst the concern and talk about the rally, Trump took to Twitter and tweeted about the situation saying; “The Democratic Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd amendment rights. This is just the beginning, don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!”

Along with the introduction of the “Red Flag” law, there would be voting on several other pieces of legislation to either tighten or loosen regulations surrounding the purchasing and bearing of firearms that would be voted on the following day. 

Fortunately, the fears of violence were proven wrong,  nobody was reported injured and the rally was able to conclude peacefully. Despite the peaceful conclusion to the protest, the state Senate passed several pieces of legislation to reform gun laws which will then be passed onto the House.