VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Tens of thousands of people took a stand for the right to bear arms Monday in Richmond, but did that peaceful demonstration change anything?
Some pro-gun legislators and residents say it might not change gun legislation in the short-term, but could impact future elections.
“It was probably one of the best events I can remember,” said Virginia Beach resident Jimmy Frost of the rally Monday.
Frost braved the cold in Richmond yesterday, although he doesn’t think it made much of difference.
“Once we start infringing on your Second Amendment rights, at what point do you start infringing on your First Amendment rights?” Frost asked.
“I think they heard the message,” Virginia Beach attorney Tim Anderson said. “I think it would be impossible not to hear the message.”
Anderson spent the weekend at the Capitol lobbying the legislators, although he says Democrats were hard to find.
“The problem with Lobby Day, as the ability to get to the Democrats was very difficult,” Anderson added. “Some were there and some were not.”
Democrats say they were listening, but will do what is best for the people.
“We are going to look at the legislation as it comes forward and we are going to evaluate each on its own merit,” said Suffolk Del. Clinton Jenkins, a Democrat.
Republicans aren’t sure that’s the case.
“It may not make a difference in the short-term, but in the long-term,” said Del. John McGuire, who represents Henrico County.
If the Democrat-controlled General Assembly does what it is expected to do and pass new gun laws, Republicans say the only thing they can do is head to the polls and take the power back.
“They (Democrats) are going to do what they think the people that voted them there asked them to do, and eventually this is going to end up being an election issue in 2021,” Anderson said.
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