Reprint from the Virginia Citizens Defense League


Virginia Citizens Defense League

Defending Your Right to Defend Yourself

Lobby Day 2022 Preliminary Information

FIRST SOME IMPORTANT RECENT HISTORY

In 2019, anti-self-defense Democrats took control of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates. They already had control of the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General positions. That led to a massive push for localities to protect the rights of gun owners at the end of 2019, as gun owners rightfully feared what would be coming. Over 105,000 gun-owners across the state flooded their city hall, town hall, or Board of Supervisors meetings, demanding their right to keep and bear arms be protected against unconstitutional gun-laws by having the locality declare itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary. 95% of the localities became sanctuaries in a wave that swept the state and made national and international news!

On January 20, 2020, over 50,000 gun-owners attended VCDL’s Lobby Day rally in Richmond. Their message was “No gun control.”

The net effect of the massive turnouts, which made the vast majority of the state a Second Amendment Sanctuary, and the eye-popping Lobby Day turnout was to kill the most egregious gun-control bills (banning semi-automatic rifles that “look evil”, magazine limitations, a suppressor ban, and more). However, some bad gun-control bills did pass, though they were severely scaled back.

Two of those gun-control laws intentionally affected Lobby Day. One law made it illegal to carry on the Capitol grounds, including in the Capitol and General Assembly buildings. The second law allows localities to prohibit carry at permitted events or events that should have had a permit, which Richmond has in effect. The net result is that this year we can’t have a rally in Richmond or at the Capitol if we are armed, nor can we lobby if we are armed.

LOBBY DAY 2022 WILL NOT HAVE A RALLY THIS TIME

We looked at doing a rally outside of Richmond but having a place that can accommodate thousands of people, and is reasonably close to Richmond, proved impossible to find currently.

So, this year on Lobby Day, which is Monday, January 17, we will be lobbying at the General Assembly, but without having a rally. We will be streaming 2A speakers for you to watch and listen to on your phone.

THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: IF WE HAVE A HUGE TURNOUT TO LOBBY LEGISLATORS, WE CAN BEGIN REVERSING THE GUN CONTROL LAWS THAT WERE PASSED IN 2020 AND 2021

While the Republicans control the House, and the Governor and the Lt. Governor are both Republicans, the Senate is still controlled by the Democrats for two more years. Hence, the critical need for a big turnout, especially if you have a Senator who is a Democrat.

Make no mistake, the media and the legislators in the General Assembly are going to be watching Lobby Day very closely to see if gun owners are going to stand up in massive numbers, yet again, to say “NO” to gun control. Or if gun owners are complacent, ignore this call because they can’t carry (gun-grabbers are praying for that to be the case), or think others will be at Lobby Day to carry their water for them. We need YOU.

LOBBY DAY WILL BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT IN 2022

Our lobbying plans are going to be different in 2022:

  1. A series of small lobby teams are going to be in the building early and they will lobby each legislator on the most important bills in VCDL’s legislative agenda. Each team will distribute VCDL’s Gun Bill Analysis document to legislators and make notes about their discussions with legislators and/or their aides

  2. Gun owners who are not on one of the above-mentioned teams (almost everyone), will be going individually to lobby their senator and their delegate, and then leave the building

The net effect of this strategy is that all legislators will hear about a few key gun bills and get a copy of the VCDL Gun Bill Analysis document from a small team which may or may not have any constituents on it. Then, for the rest of the day, a flow of constituents will be coming to their office to urge them to support the VCDL agenda and to say “no” to gun control.

The General Assembly Building can only hold a few thousand people at a time. Once the building hits capacity, the next people in line will be let in as soon as others leave the building. Our goal, unlike in previous years, will be to have as many gun owners as possible lobbying in the building all day long. Consequently, as soon as you have lobbied your senator and your delegate, we ask that you exit the building promptly so that we can get the next group of gun-owners into the building.

Lobbying will be going on all day until around 4 pm. So, if you can’t get there in the morning, especially those in the farther corners of the state, you can come in the afternoon! We want to keep the building packed all day anyway.

BUSES AND PARKING FOR CARS

We are tentatively looking at buses coming from NoVA, Tidewater, Roanoke, and Winchester. Details on that will come later. Street parking is free on Lobby Day, as it is a federal holiday. No guns are allowed in parking garages owned by the State.

PRE-LOBBY DAY DINNER

We will have a pre-Lobby Day dinner on January 16 at 6 PM at the Hibachi & Sushi Buffet & Grill in Henrico (same place as in recent years). I’ll call for RSVPs for those attending at a later date.

CARRY - IMPORTANT

Those attending Lobby Day will have to make arrangements for securing their firearms, as not only is the General Assembly off limits, the surrounding streets will be, too. Those taking the bus should not bring their gun along, as there is nowhere to store it on the bus while you are lobbying.

Trust me, I absolutely hate “gun-free zone” infringements as much as you do. I view this situation as a sort of penance we are having to pay for the 2019 elections. As a consolation, my contacts with the Richmond PD and the State Police have assured me there will be a strong police presence on Lobby Day. Getting rid of gun-free zones is on the top of VCDL’s legislative agenda.

WE HAVE A CHANCE TO TURN THIS SHIP AROUND, LET’S NOT BLOW IT

Getting rid of gun bans in the Capitol, state agency buildings, and local-government controlled property are on the top of our list of things to fix in 2022. Let’s turn out and get this fixed!

No gun-control. No “gun-free zones”!

Your attendance is key in accomplishing this. We must have a huge turnout!

Let’s do this VCDL!

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