RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Gun owners from all over Hampton Roads joined the more than 20,000 people in Richmond Monday to rally for gun rights, including York-Poquoson Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs.
He was one of 13 featured speakers at the rally on Lobby Day, when groups demonstrated for their causes during the current session of the General Assembly.
The Northam administration and Democrats in the legislature have proposed mandatory background checks on all gun purchases, a limit of one gun purchase a month, and allowing governments to ban guns from certain buildings and events.
“The governor and the Democrats have ignored the Constitution and trampled on our rights,” Diggs told the crowd.
Fearing violence, Northam banned weapons on Capitol Square and fenced off the area. That meant that even Diggs had to leave his usual sidearm behind.
“Everybody inside the fence had been disarmed, and we were put into jeopardy because of this false sense that if you take people’s rights away that your somehow safer,” he said.
However, outside the fence, the vast majority of an estimated 16,000 in attendance were armed, many with military-style rifles.
“I knew that there were patriots on the outside of the fence who were there and were going to protect those on the inside,” Diggs said.
Unlike the deadly rally of Charlottesville during the summer of 2017, this gathering was peaceful.