Gun lobbyists descend onto Capitol, hear bill both sides may agree on

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dozens of pro-gun advocates descended on the capitol Monday morning in what has traditionally become known as gun lobby day at the General Assembly.

Philip Van Cleave with the Virginia Citizens Defense League says they plan on fighting efforts to have guns registered.

“Only good people would have to register their guns, so registration makes no sense,” Van Cleave said.

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They’re also pushing for what they’re calling constitutional carry, which would allow gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

“All a permit is is permission to put on a coat over your gun, that’s all,” Van Cleave added. “It’s the same person, same gun, so we think we should have constitutional carry. Thirteen states have it and it’s growing.”

5654a0f09a594641bdf2b40672bf7f1d“There’s nothing in the constitution that guarantees the carry of firearms in public,” argued Lori Haas with Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws. “There is the 2nd amendment which guarantees the ownership of firearms.”

A few hours later, Haas was joined by dozens of others also looking for more oversight on gun purchases, including universal background checks. Among those in attendance was the father of slain TV journalist Alison Parker.

“You never think it could happen to you or a loved one, but it can and it does and it does every day,” Andy Parker said.

c9d2d6c136aa4a03a0c997adfc3ac91fParker says since his daughter’s death, he’s felt compelled to weigh in on the ongoing debate.

“We felt like we had to fight,” Parker said. “Our daughter, Alison, would have expected nothing less and that’s why we do it.”

Both sides, however, may agree on one bill proposed by state delegate Scott Lingamfelter. House Bill 1392 would allow retired officers working security at a school to carry a weapon.

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“Who’s well trained, maintains his training to be able to carry a firearm in a school to protect our kids and teachers from the unthinkable scenarios that unfortunately we’ve seen,” Lingamfelter explained.

When asked her thoughts on the proposed legislation, Haas said, “I don’t have problems with persons who undergo law enforcement training, who maintain that training, and re-up that training, yes I’ll certainly look at that.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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