WJLA.COM January 21, 2020 – Outside of Virginia’s Capitol Square in Richmond Monday, more than 20,000 gun rights activists came out to rally against new gun legislation. While this is an annual event, there was a sense of urgency this year, with the real prospect of new gun policies being signed into law now that the statehouse, Senate and Governor’s office are all led by Democrats, many of whom say they were given a mandate by voters, following the mass shooting in Virginia Beach last in May 2019.
“It was the single number one issue that we heard consistently on the doors it is the thing we ran our race on, the thing we are going to accomplish now that I’m here in Richmond,” said Virginia Delegate Dan Helmer, a Democrat who beat a Republican in last year’s election, he said largely because of the gun issue.
The fight is now shaping up to be a contentious one.
Since the election, the vast majority of localities around Virginia have deemed themselves gun sanctuaries, areas where new gun laws would not be enforced and where legal gun owners could keep their weapons.
Culpepper Virginia Sheriff Scott Jenkins has devised a unique plan, which has garnered him nationwide attention, to deputize legal gun owners in his community and make them auxiliary deputies.
“I would swear in citizens as deputy sheriffs and mass hundreds or even thousands if need be,” Jenkins said in a recent interview.
Jenkins believes this heated gun debate could play a role in the upcoming election, in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
Leading up to the 2019 election in Virginia some polls showed this was issue number one for voters, ahead of healthcare and jobs and the economy.
Still, it’s an issue playing out across the country, from Washington State to New Mexico to North Carolina, though many are keeping a close eye to see how what happens here plays out. [view source]