The Virginia anti-gun Democrat leadership is trying desperately to suppress VCDL's Lobby Day in 2021 - but they won't succeed. Lobby Day this year will be more eye-popping than last year and you will be warmer to boot!
The Governor and the Democrats that control the General Assembly really, really don't want another massive VCDL Lobby Day and rally on January 18, 2021, so games are being played to silence us.
VCDL was told years ago that an application to use the Bell Tower for an event more than six months out would not even be accepted. We have followed that rule, booked six months out, and gotten the 11 am slot for 17 years. This year, when we applied exactly six months out, we were told that the 11 am slot was already booked! In fact, every slot was filled except the 6 am and 6 pm slots.
How was that even possible? We had booked right at the six month mark.
We got a copy of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) document containing the applications that had been accepted by the Department of General Services (DGS) for Lobby Day on January 18, 2021. Lo and behold - the 11am slot had been requested by Andrew Goddard and Lori Haas with the Virginia Center For Public Safety (a gun-control group with ties to Michael Bloomberg). Here's the kicker - DGS accepted the application, which had been filed OVER A YEAR IN ADVANCE (January 14, 2020)! That was even before the VCDL's 2020 Lobby Day event!
If Lori Haas's name sounds familiar, she's the paid gun-control lobbyist who the Democrats put on the supposedly non-partisan Crime Commission a few months ago, destroying the Commission's credibility on any gun-related items.
The other slots were taken by the following organizations (note the dates the applications were submitted - all self-proclaimed progressive organizations, all magically within a few days of Goddard's application, and all before VCDL's Lobby Day 2020!):
9 am: Care in Action. Applied on January 17, 2020.
1 pm: Progress Virginia (another gun-control rally). Applied on January 17, 2020.
3 pm: New Virginia Majority. Applied on January 19, 2020.
DGS's own rules say they will grant the venues to the first applicant with a valid application. That would have made VCDL the first valid applicant for the 11 am slot (or any of the slots for that matter). But that's not what is being done.
And that's not all: notification of who has actually gotten the slots won't be known until mid-December, making planning for such an event very difficult.
A new set of rules is in the process of being passed, which will allow DGS to postpone the event if the Governor or the General Assembly decides they want to use the grounds at that time. So, the day before Lobby Day, DGS could decide that some Senator needs to use the Bell Tower for one of his events and VCDL's event will be cancelled and moved to some other date. Also, If more than the maximum number of people show up for an event, it can be cancelled. I kid you not.
And then there are all the COVID-19 games that can be played by the Governor, as well as the House holding their session virtually in 2021.
If the Governor and the Democrats in the General Assembly want to play games in order to suppress our right to free speech, then we'll play a game of our own: it's called #Rolling4the2A, and this they can't stop.
You may have heard of the annual "Rolling Thunder" event in DC and the massive "Trump Trains" recently. Both involve hundreds of vehicles with flags and signs traveling together to express support for a cause.
VCDL is going to do that on January 18, but on steroids!
VCDL's lobbying effort on January 18 is going to consist of thousands of vehicles in four major caravans coming from the corners of the state and all of them headed to Richmond! We will post the times the various caravans should be passing key locations so those along the routes can join the caravans as it passes by their area.
The four major caravans will all flood into the Richmond area over a 4 hour period in the afternoon and will pass through the center of Richmond, near wherever the Senate is meeting.
We will have flags and magnetic signs for all the vehicles which are taking part in this event, so everyone watching the seemingly never-ending flow of vehicles will have no doubt about the mission of those vehicles.
We are already planning on how to cover and coordinate this event over social media, including having guest speakers live-streaming and allowing everyone to know where the various caravans are located as they move across the state.
Obviously we want as many vehicles as possible in each caravan, but we are looking at having some "decked-out" buses ("wrapped" with pro-gun messages) for those who simply cannot drive, but still want to be part of this incredible event.
As a bonus, you can stay armed, you can stay warm and/or dry in your vehicle, and no worries about finding a place to park!
This is going to be SOOOO cool. Yes, there will be a lot of driving from some of you, but it will be worth it. The message we will be sending will be heard not only in Richmond, but in the whole state, and across the country!
What if I want to park my vehicle and walk around Richmond armed?
While VCDL is not holding an event in Richmond, you are certainly allowed to park your car and walk around the City armed if you wish. Carry signs if you wish, too. The Richmond ordinance banning guns at a permitted event only applies if:
1. It is a permitted event or should have been a permitted event - you walking around Richmond is neither. Regardless of how many people decide to do so at the same time, it is irrelevant as long as they are not doing it as some kind of a coordinated effort.
2. There must be "no guns" signs posted by the City and they can only post those signs temporarily for permitted events.
NOTES IF YOU ARE CARRYING A RIFLE OR A HANDGUN:
If you are planning to travel with a rifle or a handgun, either as a resident or a non-resident, please ensure you are aware of the applicable gun-laws. The Virginia State Police website has some good information on transporting firearms (https://www.vsp.virginia.gov/Firearms_Transporting.shtm).
For those with 'scary' black rifles or with certain handguns, please maintain awareness of Virginia code 18.2-287.4 "Carrying loaded firearms in public areas prohibited" found at https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter7/section18.2-287.4/. Basically, if you are planning to carry a loaded,center-fire rifle or handgun with a threaded barrel, a folding stock (rifle only), or with a magazine in the gun that holds MORE than 20 rounds in Richmond, you must have a valid concealed handgun permit (all non-resident concealed carry permits are honored by Virginia).
Except as specified in the previous paragraph, open carry of a long gun or a handgun does not require a permit in Virginia. If you have a permit, only handguns can be carried concealed, NOT long guns.
Watch for updates over the next few weeks
You will be told the following things over VA-ALERT and they will also be posted on the VCDL.org website:
* How to get the flags and magnet signs with pro-gun messages for your vehicle
* The exact routes and approximate times that each caravan will pass through key locations
* Links to where you can hear VCDL's invited speakers, as well as follow the progress of the caravans
I'll see you at #Rolling4the2A on January 18, 2021! And for those of you from other states, come join us! Richmond, here we come!