ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) This week in Rockingham County more than three thousand people turned out for a board of supervisors meeting in a high school gym.
And the story was the same in Chesapeake, where a large crowd gathered outside as city council considered, and passed, a resolution declaring Chesapeake a Second Amendment Constitutional City.
More than 90 governing bodies in Virginia have now taken similar votes.
Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave says it's unlike anything he's ever seen in his years of advocacy.
"It's like the difference between driving a car and being in a rocket ship," Van cleave told WDBJ7 in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.
"And it's people saying no, we're tired of this," Van Cleave said. "Leave our guns alone, don't come after us. It's just that they're fed up and now that there's a chance it will happen, that was the final straw that activated that base. And this is powerful. People are passionate about this."
Democrats say there are measures such as universal background checks that enjoy broad public support.
"There are meaningful steps by the Virginia General Assembly just as there are steps that can be taken by Congress. that can reduce gun violence without impinging on people's Second Amendment rights," U.S. Senator Tim Kaine told reporters earlier this week.
But as Democrats prepare to assume the majority in the House of Delegates and State Senate, the prospect of a contentious General Assembly session appears to be growing.
"I think this is going to be the defining issue of the legislature," said Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton. "How far will the Democrats push and how will the courts handle this? Ultimately, I think this will be an issue for the courts, but initially it will be a polarizing issue and it will have political consequence."
Consider Lobby Day on January 20th at the State Capitol. Van Cleave says a normal year would bring 800 to 1000 gun rights advocates to Capitol Square, This year, he says the crowd could top 10,000.