Within 48 hours of taking over Virginia legislature Democrats pass first gun ban of 2020

Virginia Democrats have full control of the state government, and they are making the most of it.  Less than two days after Virginia opened the 2020 legislative session, newly empowered lawmakers voted to pass a total ban on guns at the state capitol and legislative office buildings.  Previously, those with a valid concealed handgun permit were allowed to bring a gun into the Capitol.  Weapons were banned only in the Senate gallery and the governor's office.  "Our focus is to keep everybody safe," said Democratic House speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.  "These are policies and rules that should have passed a long, long time ago."

Democratic House majority leader Charneile Herring claimed the sudden policy decision by the Joint Rules Committee, just a handful of people, was at the request of the Capitol Police.  "I think there are times when we sort of have to trust what our law enforcement officers are telling us," she said.  When asked by reporters, after the rushed and less than transparent committee meeting, the Capitol Police's Col. Anthony Pike said he had made no recommendations on whether guns should be banned, only how to implement the ban.  GOP delegate Kirk Cox called Herring's attempt to put the onus on the Capitol Police "a deliberate misrepresentation, there's just no way around that," he said.


Virginia State Capitol (photo credit: Ron Cogswell).

House Republican leader Del. Todd Gilbert put out the following statement:

With less than 24 hours notice House and Senate Democrats overturned more than a decade of policy and voted to ban all firearms from the Capitol and office buildings. This measure includes the general public, concealed carry permit holders, and General Assembly members. Law abiding citizens with valid concealed handgun permits have always been allowed to bring their lawful firearms into these facilities.

Not only did the vote take place with little notice and no public distribution of the policy ahead of time it was done in a meeting that was not broadcast to the public like other committee meetings...Furthermore, hiding behind our Capitol police is cowardly.

Garren Shipley works for the House GOP Caucus and was in the committee room when the vote took place.  Shipley's tweets indicate that Republican members were blindsided by the Democrats' action on Friday.  "What just happened, Dems pushed through complete Capitol gun ban, said Capitol police asked for it, Capitol police told members, press they did not...Gun policy given to members at the table, members told they were on the committee less than a day before the meeting. "

With 118 Second Amendment sanctuaries now resolved to protect law-abiding Virginians' constitutional right to bear arms, state officials have been voicing their concerns regarding upcoming rallies at the Capitol and surrounding areas.  The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) expects huge crowds of gun rights advocates on January 20.  Because of the upcoming rallies and the new gun policy, many people are asking whether the gun ban applies to the square around the Capitol.  The inquiries prompted the governor's office to respond:

The issue of the open space that constitutes Capitol Square is more complicated from a legal perspective. That being said, the Governor is reviewing options in coordination with state and local law enforcement and in light of incoming intelligence. His top priority is keeping Virginia safe.

The policy, set to go into effect Friday at midnight, has some Republicans like Del. Gilbert throwing up a white flag.  "That is not a good way to govern and doesn't speak well of transparency, I think it's a sign of what's to come for gun owners," he said.

On the other hand, we have Senator Amanda Chase here in Chesterfield County.  Chase has always been and remains a fierce advocate for our Second Amendment rights.  The commonsense senator reminded the Democrats that forcing law-abiding citizens to leave their guns in cars parked on the streets of downtown Richmond provides an opportunity for criminals to steal them.  Chase also told reporters, "This isn't Republican vs. Democrat, this is American vs. un-American."

Virginia Democrats have full control of the state government, and they are making the most of it.  Less than two days after Virginia opened the 2020 legislative session, newly empowered lawmakers voted to pass a total ban on guns at the state capitol and legislative office buildings.  Previously, those with a valid concealed handgun permit were allowed to bring a gun into the Capitol.  Weapons were banned only in the Senate gallery and the governor's office.  "Our focus is to keep everybody safe," said Democratic House speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.  "These are policies and rules that should have passed a long, long time ago."

Democratic House majority leader Charneile Herring claimed the sudden policy decision by the Joint Rules Committee, just a handful of people, was at the request of the Capitol Police.  "I think there are times when we sort of have to trust what our law enforcement officers are telling us," she said.  When asked by reporters, after the rushed and less than transparent committee meeting, the Capitol Police's Col. Anthony Pike said he had made no recommendations on whether guns should be banned, only how to implement the ban.  GOP delegate Kirk Cox called Herring's attempt to put the onus on the Capitol Police "a deliberate misrepresentation, there's just no way around that," he said.


Virginia State Capitol (photo credit: Ron Cogswell).

House Republican leader Del. Todd Gilbert put out the following statement:

With less than 24 hours notice House and Senate Democrats overturned more than a decade of policy and voted to ban all firearms from the Capitol and office buildings. This measure includes the general public, concealed carry permit holders, and General Assembly members. Law abiding citizens with valid concealed handgun permits have always been allowed to bring their lawful firearms into these facilities.

Not only did the vote take place with little notice and no public distribution of the policy ahead of time it was done in a meeting that was not broadcast to the public like other committee meetings...Furthermore, hiding behind our Capitol police is cowardly.

Garren Shipley works for the House GOP Caucus and was in the committee room when the vote took place.  Shipley's tweets indicate that Republican members were blindsided by the Democrats' action on Friday.  "What just happened, Dems pushed through complete Capitol gun ban, said Capitol police asked for it, Capitol police told members, press they did not...Gun policy given to members at the table, members told they were on the committee less than a day before the meeting. "

With 118 Second Amendment sanctuaries now resolved to protect law-abiding Virginians' constitutional right to bear arms, state officials have been voicing their concerns regarding upcoming rallies at the Capitol and surrounding areas.  The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) expects huge crowds of gun rights advocates on January 20.  Because of the upcoming rallies and the new gun policy, many people are asking whether the gun ban applies to the square around the Capitol.  The inquiries prompted the governor's office to respond:

The issue of the open space that constitutes Capitol Square is more complicated from a legal perspective. That being said, the Governor is reviewing options in coordination with state and local law enforcement and in light of incoming intelligence. His top priority is keeping Virginia safe.

The policy, set to go into effect Friday at midnight, has some Republicans like Del. Gilbert throwing up a white flag.  "That is not a good way to govern and doesn't speak well of transparency, I think it's a sign of what's to come for gun owners," he said.

On the other hand, we have Senator Amanda Chase here in Chesterfield County.  Chase has always been and remains a fierce advocate for our Second Amendment rights.  The commonsense senator reminded the Democrats that forcing law-abiding citizens to leave their guns in cars parked on the streets of downtown Richmond provides an opportunity for criminals to steal them.  Chase also told reporters, "This isn't Republican vs. Democrat, this is American vs. un-American."