FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Governor Ralph Northam’s decision on Wednesday to temporarily ban guns from the grounds of the State Capitol has drawn criticism from local Second Amendment and gun rights supporters.
“They’re not listening to what people are saying, they’re just doing whatever they want to do," said William Dyer of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Dyer successfully pushed for his home county of Franklin County to become a Second Amendment sanctuary. He says Northam’s decision perfectly encapsulates why people have rallied behind the Second Amendment sanctuary movement.
“It shows that people understand that there is a credible threat to their freedoms and they’re stepping up to do something about it,” Dyer said. “We’re really upset about the infringement on our rights.”
Fellow Franklin County native Kaye Hunt also identifies as a concerned supporter of gun rights and the Second Amendment.
“I’ve been a responsible gun owner since I was 7 years old, and still am,” Hunt said. “It’s terrible that they want to come and take your rights for something that you’ve had all your life.”
Northam has said that any gun measures lawmakers pursue will not breach the Second Amendment.
“Any laws that we pass in Richmond, and the eight pieces of legislation I put on the table back in July, are constitutional,” Northam said.
Dyer said he will travel up to Richmond to speak with lawmakers about gun rights next week. He said he will remain persistent in protecting and fighting for Second Amendment rights.
“[Lawmakers think] if we just ignore them, they’ll go away," Dyer said. "We’re not going away. Just be open. Nobody’s going to come to attack you or argue with you.”