Virginia: Richmond Police Plan Illegal Weapons Ban for Saturday

Open Carry
Open Carry

Virginia Citizens Defense League

Virginia-( 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.

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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.

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There are times when I wish law enforcement would take a stand for the various constitutions and say no, we are not supporting these restrictions on citizens rights. All too often they act like sheep and do whatever they are told to do, ignoring the laws. The Constitution and the law should come first.

Old Jarhead

GOOGLE is NOT my friend, or the friend of anyone else. Here is the statute: 18.2-422. Prohibition of wearing of masks in certain places; exceptions. It shall be unlawful for any person over sixteen years of age while wearingany mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face ishidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be orappear in any public place, or upon any private property in this Commonwealthwithout first having obtained from the owner or tenant thereof consent to doso in writing. However, the provisions of this section shall not… Read more »


1. You need to settle down just a tad. 2. To my knowledge, and I lived in VA for 43 years, there was NEVER an instance where a police officer bothered ANYONE for wearing a face covering due to weather. 3. Yes, I think it’s just fine because, when enforced, it puts a screeching halt to people like Antifa smashing windows, rioting, burning cars and attempting to murder people and then slither back into the crowd with no way to identify them. If you want to disagree that’s your right and just as an add on I used Google as… Read more »

Old Jarhead

Yes, I use the Duck too. Yeah, “settle down” while you settle for more soft tyranny. Anytime a citizen says “there was NEVER an instance”, there is a huge problem. What you mean is never- as far as you know. The simple fact is that it’s another discretionary enforcement trap, waiting to be sprung, at the whim of a cop. Read the book “Three Felonies a Day”, and the scholarly paper “Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime” Every law like this is one more opportunity for government harassment. As an old LEO friend of mine… Read more »


Okay, fine. There’s no convincing you and I’m not gonna try anymore. Any law ever passed has the possibility of being abused. Let’s just repeal all the laws and there will be no chance of abuse by bad cops, prosecutors, judges and governments. That should suit you.


@Pete. This law has been in place in Virginia for many years. You probably don’t remember, or without Television in your area, you don’t understand, that at one time people would ” Rob ” other folks and banks, ect, while covering their faces with masks or bandannas. That is one aspect of the law you might consider. The other is to prevent one from commiting an act of personal deceit on an individual or group and to direct the consequences of said act towards another group. As has happened in years past during mining strikes, we have many coal mines… Read more »

Silence Dogood

Sadly, this won’t be the last time that the Police are used to enforce Fascist Policies!!

Samuel Stephens

Sounds likes Constitutional Rights robbing DemocRATs doing what they do best, breaking the Constitutional law of the land. Fire all of the state government so-called leaders starting with the clown governor on down to the lowest DemocRATic scumbag.

Old Jarhead

I’m interested in the law making the wearing of a mask illegal. How does that work? Under what circumstances? I wear a shemagh or a balaclava to keep the sun off my face. In the winter they provide protection from the sun and the cold. What about ‘trick or treat”? Is that illegal? What about women who wear a niqab? WTF, over?


It’s usually limited to demonstrations.

Heed the Call-up

And other criminal acts, such as robbery, though when an illegal demonstration is being held, and those “protesting” are physically assaulting people, as happened recently in Charlottesville, rather than stand around and watch as the police did, they needed to enforce the law, including the wearing of masks in public.

Old Jarhead

OK what is “usually”?
What is a “demonstration”? How many people? In what venue? What does the actual statute say?
Is there an actual statute, or is this just “because the cops say so”?


There is an actual statute. While I do not know the exact wording, it is along the lines of adults ‘deliberately concealing their identity’. Trick-or-treat is specifically exempted, as are costume parties. It is usually used as a ‘tag-along charge’ for those committing other crimes while wearing masks.


Let Google be your friend, look it up.

Wild Bill

A citizens’ group standing up against illegal, unconstitutional, unethical city government’s planned actions, successfully. It gives me hope for the future!


VCDL has been extremely active in Virginia and was the model for other “CDL” groups across the country (WVCDL, AZCDL). They have been at the forefront to get concealed carry “shall issue” passed in Virginia almost two decades ago when NRA was still saying “Virginis isn’t ready for concealed carry”. VCDL was also responsible for normalization of ALL forms of carry in Virginia with a very strong pre-emotion law that made all local ordinances that were more restrictive than State law illegal. Open carry has been legal in Virginia for more than 150 years but certain local authorities, like Alexandria… Read more »


Vanns40, I have been saying that for a long time, when they move from a sh!thole that they created and move to a reasonably decent community they try to turn it into what they came from. Obviously, no brains and no sense.


I agree , Virginia is no cake walk. As a Virginian it’s heartbreaking at the idiot political stunts pulled by both, Democrats, and the RINOS who seemed to be birthing at an alarming rate. As a lifetime NRA member, I now support the VCDL wholeheartedly. We seem to be electing political leaders who not only hate the Constitution. But are unable to decide matters that require critical thinking.

Heed the Call-up

The VCDL president convinced them to act within our laws.