Proponents of gun control on social media expressed outrage after the National Rifle Association announced it was giving away firearms magazines in protest of proposed restrictions on firearms in Virginia.
The NRA made the announcement Sunday night in a Twitter post, revealing a firearms manufacturer had donated 1,000 30-round magazines, which would be handed out Monday in Richmond.
More blatant terrorism from the
#NRAtraitors… What else would
we expect from such a completely
un-American organization. ?
— Ralf Tebako (@RalfTebako) January 13, 2020
The gun rights group released a press release earlier in the month saying it was urging members and supporters to show up at Virginia’s state capitol on Jan. 13 to make their pro-Second Amendment views clear to lawmakers.
Pro-Second Amendment activists have been fiercely critical of Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who has unveiled a series of proposals that would restrict access to firearms.
In its Sunday tweet announcing the giveaway, the NRA said supporters were showing up “to fight Northam’s extreme gun ban!”
While many of the replies were supportive of the initiative, others slammed the pro-gun organization, with some even accusing it of promoting “terrorism.”
— willy emmie (@terriermix) January 13, 2020
“More blatant terrorism from the #NRAtraitors… What else would we expect from such a completely un-American organization,” tweeted one commenter.
Yes, the anti-rights crowd has a child-like misunderstanding of freedom.
I’d say to you children, “it’s not about need, if it were you wouldn’t have any toys little one”.#gunsense #guncontrolnow children
— Freedom isn’t free ?? (@RedFizo1) January 13, 2020
“Easy to tell who is on right side of the law! MFOL did not have to bribe any of its 1.2 million participants in US and around the world to show up for their protest march on 3/4/18!” said one Twitter user.
Preserving the right to keep “playing army” with AR15s and producing plenty of the domestic terrorists’ weapon of choice, the AR15. That’s the effect of the fear-fueled NRA legislative strategy. Stay strong, Virginia. #momsdoitbetter @MomsDemand @shannonrwatts @Everytown #NRA
— hunter (@causidicus) January 13, 2020
Another commenter urged a ban on the NRA.
“Repeal 2A. Melt the guns,” he tweeted.
— Todd Humphrey ? (@mrgfwilliams) January 13, 2020
Virginia gun control
Virginia finds itself in the midst of a fierce ideological battle over the issue of gun control.
The state’s Democrats, who in November seized control of both houses of the state’s legislature for the first time in more than two decades, made gun control laws a focus of their campaigns.
Democrats’ electoral triumph sparked concerns about increased restrictions on firearms possession, which the state’s pro-gun advocates say infringe on their Second Amendment rights.
Several proposals, including an “assault weapons” ban backed by Northam, prompted outrage in a wide swathe of rural localities across the state.
Democrats announced last month they were amending the pending ban on “assault weapons” in the face of political pressure.
An early draft of the bill would have made it a felony to possess any firearm defined as an “assault weapon.” Gun rights groups were particularly concerned by the lack of an exception for those who already possess such weapons.
The move to confiscate guns faced immense grassroots opposition in the state, which has seen an overwhelming majority of its counties declare themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
One southwestern Virginia county went even further, passing a resolution authorizing funding for the formation of a well-regulated militia.
(Correction: A previous version of this article said the NRA announced it would give away ammunition at a Jan. 13 event in Richmond, Virginia. The organization actually said it would hand out gun magazines at the event.)