President Donald Trump addressed the simmering pro-gun resistance movement in Virginia, pledging this week that gun confiscation was “never going to happen” as long as he sits in the White House.
“We will always protect … the right to keep and bear arms, which is under siege,” Trump told supporters on Tuesday at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey.
The raucous crowd broke out into chants of “USA! USA!”
“In Virginia, they want to take your guns away — it’s just the beginning,” the president said as the crowd booed in response.
“Never going to happen as long as I’m President of the United States, that I can tell you,” he added.
Trump has spoken out before in support of gun owners in the state, tweeting earlier this month that “2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia.”
“That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!” Trump said in the tweet.
Virginia is for (gun) lovers?
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, has vowed to push through new gun control laws. He is backing a package of eight bills, including universal background checks, a “red flag” law, a ban on assault rifles and a limit of one handgun-a-month purchase.
The state’s gun owners responded with a movement to create “sanctuary cities” for gun rights, with local government bodies passing declarations not to enforce new gun laws.
Last Monday, thousands assembled at Virginia’s capitol building to demonstrate for gun rights.
The rally was organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a prominent Second Amendment group that typically holds an annual “Lobby Day” to meet with lawmakers. The group has said this year’s event will be focused on opposing sweeping gun control measures that could be enacted next week by the Virginia legislature, which is under Democratic control for the first time in a generation.
Since the November election, nearly all of Virginia’s 95 counties have some form of “sanctuary,” a term first used by localities opposed to harsh treatment of illegal immigrants.
The idea has quickly spread across the United States, with over 200 local governments in 16 states passing such measures.