Good coverage of VA "open carry" gun meeting

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    More gun rights on horizon? -

    More gun rights on horizon?
    By Ashley Kelly and Kimball Payne
    10:57 p.m. EST, February 18, 2010

    YORK -- "Guns save lives" is printed on the bright orange stickers.

    The stickers were worn by about 50 people who attended a monthly
    meeting at the County Grill, hosted by the gun rights Web site

    Attendees said that carrying a gun is about expressing a
    constitutional right. Many of them discussed proposed legislation in
    the General Assembly that could give them further freedoms.

    There are several gun bills that are being voted on in the General
    Assembly. This week, House lawmakers voted 61-37 to repeal the one
    handgun a month purchase limit.

    The law, passed in 1993 under Gov. Doug Wilder, has long been upheld
    as the state's signature gun-control restriction. The Senate approved
    Bill 334, which allows gun owners with permits to carry concealed-
    weapons in restaurants that serve alcohol. The vote passed 22-18.

    "I think it's been a long time coming. We're seeing some real movement
    on these items," said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia
    Citizens Defense League Inc.

    Van Cleave said Bill 334 was one of the most important bills that is
    being proposed during this session.

    "Criminals tend to pick times when you're caught off guard. You just
    don't know," Van Cleave said. "You only get one life. This is how I
    choose to protect it. If others don't, that's their choice."

    Gun owners and 2nd Amendment activists have reason to be in high
    spirits in Virginia these days, thanks to the election of Gov. Bob
    McDonnell last November, which helped Republicans bolster an already
    powerful majority in the House of Delegates. With a Republican in the
    Virginia executive mansion for the first time in almost a decade,
    lawmakers are pushing the most aggressive gun rights legislation in

    York County Sheriff J.D. "Danny" Diggs and Congressman Rob Wittman
    both attended Wednesday's meeting as guests of Neither
    gave formal remarks.

    State legislators are pushing an array of proposals, including changes
    that would exempt Virginia gun and ammunition builders from federal
    oversight. Lawmakers are also pushing to repeal a law limiting
    Virginians to a single handgun purchase a month.

    "Criminals don't care about how many handguns they can have a month.
    They don't care about what the law says they can get," said Paul
    Henick, who attended the dinner. "The General Assembly is really
    reinstating a lot of the things they took away over the last 20 or 30

    Van Cleave said "freedom will be ringing" if many of the proposed
    bills become law.

    "For the first time since 1995, a gun owner will be able to decide for
    himself if he wants to carry a concealed weapon," Van Cleave said.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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