Citizens concerned about proposed gun legislation gather in Richmond
They lined the brick sidewalks of Capitol Square, nearly all of them wearing blaze orange stickers that read "Guns Save Lives" issued by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Dozens who say they're concerned about proposed gun legislation gathered at the capitol Monday, hoping lawmakers might hear their viewpoint.
"We don't want to hurt nobody," said Chesterfield County resident, Brian Baker. "We just want to keep our rights that our forefathers gave us."
Most, like Baker, live in Virginia. Others, like Mike Kraxberger, traveled from out of state.
"There's nothing more important than food, clothing, shelter and self-defense," said Kraxberger, who drove to Richmond from central North Carolina.
Monday's gathering coincided with events hosted by the National Rifle Association. The organization is urging its supporters to get engaged and share their opposition to a handful of measures being considered by the Virginia General Assembly.
Bills advanced in state senate committees Monday include a requirement for expanded background checks, a measure that would prohibit people from buying more than one handgun each month and a law that would restrict firearms at public events.
"We're going the wrong direction," said Charles City County resident, Jeff Snodgrass. "There's a lot more battles to be fought than this, and there are lot more things that take lives, other than guns."
Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a Democrat who presides over the state Senate, stopped to hear the concerns of those gathered outside the capitol. He spent around 20 minutes Monday afternoon taking questions and listening.
Fairfax supports the current gun control measures, as does the group "Moms Demand Action," which held its own rally day at the capitol on Friday.
A much larger presence of people with opinions about gun legislation is expected next Monday, when the Virginia Citizen's Defense League is expected to hold a rally. The organization says around 30,000 of its members and supporters are planning to attend.