Thousands of gun rights activists have gathered in and around Virginia’s Capitol building in Richmond on Monday in protest to new gun laws proposed by the state legislature. Many rally-goers brought their firearms with them, but this man may have brought the biggest.
Identified as a gun range owner, a man in attendance at the gun rally could be seen carrying a Barrett MA82 50. cal sniper rifle.
This range owner brought a whole ass Barrett 50. cal, amazing pic.twitter.com/U17wtdpnin
— Alec Sears (@alec_sears) January 20, 2020
One Huffington Post reporter in attendance at the rally reported the man is a gun seller from New York and described him as “the bell of the ball” while showing off the massive sniper rifle.
This gentleman who told me he’s a gun seller in NY is currently the bell of the ball as he shows off his Barrett. Seems unnecessary but ok pic.twitter.com/en7KiYrVD5
— Sebastian Murdock (@SebastianMurdoc) January 20, 2020
The man could also be seen wearing a plate carrier and a helmet, as well as stickers on both his plate carrier and the Barrett that say “Guns save lives.
This guy brought his Barrett MA82 to the Virginia Capitol pro-gun rights rally. 50 caliber. pic.twitter.com/ytl4O3iLNe
— nick allen (@nickallen789) January 20, 2020
Other armed protesters could be seen around the Capitol building despite Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s temporary gan ban at the Capitol, in anticipation of the planned rally. Northam, at the time, warned of extremist threats at the rally.
Despite the ban, many activists could still be seen openly carrying their firearms outside of a fenced-off perimeter around the Capitol building.
Protesters could be heard chanting “We will not comply.”
— Michael Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) January 20, 2020
Those protesters also took up chants of “Northam out.”
— Den Lewis ⭐⭐⭐ #VoteDemOut (@Denlewis01) January 20, 2020
The Virginia gun rally comes in opposition to new gun control measures proposed by the new majority Democratic Virginia state legislature.
The large majority of Virginia’s counties and many other cities and towns in the state have already passed ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ resolutions in the weeks and months leading up to the new legislative session. Those non-binding measures have passed as a means to signal that those localities would deprioritize enforcement of new gun laws.
One Virginia lawmaker proposed, Rep. Donald McEachin, proposed calling on the National Guard to enforce potential new gun laws. Northam has also promised “consequences” for those localities that do not enforce what gun laws Virginia passes.
One activist in attendance at the rally, Vanessa Dallas, said the new gun control measures being discussed would only disarm law-abiding citizens.
“We are not the ones committing the crimes,” she said.
— Kiahnna Patterson (@KPattersonWAVY) January 20, 2020