President Donald Trump suggested Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is going to suffer backlash at the polls in 2020 after the Democratic-controlled legislature proposed a series of sweeping gun control measures that prompted thousands of people to turn out and demonstrate at the state Capitol earlier this week.
“I think Virginia is crazy where they want to take away guns,” Trump told Fox News on Wednesday. He added: “Virginia is very much in play. I think we are going to win [the] state of Virginia. They want to take everyone’s gun away in Virginia. You can’t do it. You can’t do it. People need that for safety. They need it for hunting and … but many people need it for safety, they need it for safety.”
Trump added that should Democrats win more elections: “They’re saying it quietly, but if they win these elections, they’re going to try to get rid of the Second Amendment. It will never happen as long as I’m here.”
Northam, in an interview following the rally, said that the measures that are being proposed by the state legislature are constitutional.
“They are constitutional. They don’t threaten the Second Amendment. Their purpose is to keep Virginia safe,” Northam said, reported WSLS. “We’re going to do work together, sit down at the table and find things that we can agree on and at the end of the day, make Virginia a safer place for everybody,” he said.
However, a number of rallygoers disagreed with his assertion, saying that the proposals would limit their ability to protect themselves.
“We believe that the bills restrict our ability to protect ourselves. You don’t have any rights unless you have power to defend them. The only way that the citizens of the United States have power is through guns. It’s the unfortunate reality of life and so them trying to restrict our magazine capacities and what types of guns we can hold, only restricts our power,” Justin Graf from Virginia told The Epoch Times on Monday.
Northam drew controversy last week when he signed an emergency order to ban all weapons at the state Capitol and cited a potential threat from an armed militia group. A number of people still showed up to the rally with firearms but didn’t demonstrate in a cordoned-off area around the Capitol grounds.
The Virginia Senate on Jan. 16 passed bills to require background checks for all firearms sales, limit handgun purchases to one per month, and restore local governments’ right to ban weapons from public buildings. The measure will go to the state’s House of Delegates.