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Four National Gun Violence Prevention Groups Call on Virginia General Assembly to Ban Open Gun Carry
Brady, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords Share Open Letter to Virginia Lawmakers Calling on Them to Ban Open Carry
Richmond, Virginia, January 15, 2021 – Today, four national gun violence prevention organizations sent an open letter to all members of the Virginia General Assembly, calling on them to pass a prohibition on the open carry of firearms throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Following the mass, armed demonstration in Richmond last winter and the assault on the U.S. Capitol this month, and in advance of planned, armed protests nationwide, including in Richmond, the threat that armed intimidation poses to both public safety and our properly functioning government has never been clearer or greater.
The letter reads, in part:
When extremists are armed, they jeopardize the safety of all residents trying to exercise their freedoms — and simply live their daily lives — in public. The sheer presence of firearms has the effect of chilling the exercise of Americans’ First Amendment right to assembly and freedom of speech. When firearms are brought to polling places, they are used as tools of voter suppression that have proliferated in recent years. …
This is why the undersigned organizations are calling for a complete ban on the open carry of firearms in Virginia. …
We must ensure that when making [the voices of Virginians] heard on an important issue, when voting, peacefully protesting, shopping at a farmer’s market, or going for a walk in their community, all Virginians are safe from the threat and intimidation of open carrying of firearms.
The full text of the letter is available online. Representatives from each organization are available for interviews.