A political infight between House Democrats and Republicans over the passage of gun control law witnessed a major step after lawmakers in Virginia banned firearms at state Capitol. The decision comes ahead of the pro-gun rally, which is expected to stage in Richmond on January 20.
Although unknown how many people would actually come on streets to stage protests, the police have already undertaken initiatives to avoid a repeat of the chaos that happened in Charlottesville in 2017.
The new norms laid Friday by a legislative committee that imposes rules on the Capitol Building, bans firearms within any building on Capitol Square and any other building where lawmakers or even their support staff have offices.
Fight over imposing gun control had previously surfaced on multiple times, but failed to meet ends, following majority of Republicans in the House. However, with only two days after the legislature commenced under Democratic control, the democrats turned the situation in their favor.
“Our goal was to ensure that there were not weapons throughout these buildings,” Democratic House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said Friday, further exclaiming that it is not an uncommon activity and even other houses follow the same activity.
However, Republicans raised flag over the process and said that since Democrats hold majority at both levels, they can pass whatever policy they want to. Yet the latest decision on gun control law will ensure that the policy comes into effect without a vote from vast majority of legislators.
US has been embroiled in multiple shooting horrors, and gun control made the list of priorities after the menacing shootout on Virginia Beach in May. In the following months, the Republicans blocked eight-gun control bills, which the Democrats have full right to pass now.
Rebellious Rally in the Cards?
Virginia’s Citizens Defense League, which is arranging the rally, is hoping that huge numbers will come and protest for the restoration of the law. Most of them with a weapon in their hands as allowed by the state law.
Since Democrats’ accession to power, executives in nearly all of the 95 counties have declared they would not enforce new gun laws. Besides, calling themselves “sanctuary cities” for gun rights.
Apart from guns posing peril at the rally, several know militias and organizations identified as white nationalist hate groups by critics have also indicated online that they will turn up in Richmond in force.
“No one is calling out the National Guard. No one is cutting off your electricity, or turning off the Internet. No one is going door-to-door to confiscate guns,” Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam said. “These laws are intended to keep Virginians safe. Period. It’s time to act,” he added.