Virginia –-(Ammoland.com)- I talked to a reporter at the Richmond Times-Dispatch about Richmond considering an illegal gun ban and they have updated the story with these new paragraphs:
The question of whether firearms can be banned at political demonstrations dominated discussion Tuesday during the first meeting of McAuliffe’s task force on civil unrest post-Charlottesville. First Amendment scholar Rodney A. Smolla, who gave the panel a briefing on constitutional law, called the topic “uncharted legal territory” but said authorities aren’t powerless to control armed crowds.
“If I am marching armed and loaded and expressing violent statements, the idea that that's a threat is not at all far-fetched. It's not at all theoretical,” Smolla said. “I would rather protect somebody's life and then deal with the legal consequences after the fact.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the state’s influential pro-gun group, said Richmond authorities “cannot ban firearms” under any circumstances, citing a state law that prohibits all forms of local gun control not explicitly authorized by the General Assembly.
The group's president, Philip Van Cleave, said he sees no reason why the upcoming rally should be treated as an exception, adding that he called the police chief and city attorney Wednesday to seek clarification on the city's plans. If the ban covers guns, Van Cleave said, the group would likely file a lawsuit. “The law's the law,” he said.
Van Cleave said VCDL has no issue with the city banning sticks or other objects that could be used as weapons.
“Pretty much anything but guns,” Van Cleave said.
Intelligence Coming Into the VCDL
I have two independent and trusted sources that are telling me that Richmond ILLEGALLY banning firearms at the event is a possibility. My radar is on full scan right now and I am in touch with legal counsel about our options.
Richmond, spitting in the eye of the Virginia General Assembly is a really bad idea.
Hopefully Richmond will stay within the law and VCDL can stand down. But if Richmond violates the law, VCDL is NOT going to let it slide.
The best bet would be for Richmond to simply break up any unlawful assemblies as they are forming and to send the two groups off in different directions, something that Charlottesville failed to do.
Anyone wearing a mask should be arrested, as that is unlawful in Virginia.
About Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.