UPDATED 1:40 PM PT – Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Several groups representing their respective causes rallied in Richmond, Virginia on Tuesday, including a group in support of Second Amendment rights. Demonstrators mobilized at the capitol building and marched to where state lawmakers were holding a special session on an emergency budget.
Virginia’s Democrat Governor Ralph Northam recently announced proposals to provide additional funding for police reform and expand access to voting ahead of the coming election. State lawmakers previously attempted to clamp down on gun owners’ rights, which prompted demonstrations against further infringement.
“People are sick and tired of all age groups. …All are out here for one reason: they are sick and tired of freedom getting stripped for no reason, so that the government can have more power. So they can have more influence, so they can do more when we want them to do less.” – Unnamed protester
Republican state lawmakers have blamed the “loss of order” in the city on a lack of leadership by Democrats.
“I’m a little disgusted how they’ve handled things. We’ve got a chance to fix that, but we don’t have the votes to support it. So, we’ll see what we can stop today and kind of go from there.” – Bill DeSteph, State Senator (R-Va.)
Last session, Virginia lawmakers passed a universal background check and a “one handgun a month” law, which demonstrators have called unconstitutional.
“The only thing that can protect your right to be free is firearms. Firearms protect the First Amendment and, like I said, firearms protect the Constitution in its entirety. We support that. We want all the rights for all the people, all of the time. That’s why we are here today.” – Mike Dunn, protester
Protesters also slammed vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif), who previously claimed she supports mandatory gun buybacks and wants to get so-called “assault weapons” off the streets.