In Richmond, gun right advocates, including many who are openly carrying their side arms and long guns, have begun to gather just yards from the fence line at the Virginia state house.
Although the clusters of first arrivals comprises only a couple of hundred people, their undisturbed presence as openly armed citizens has apparently answered the question of the day: would Virginia authorities allow the open carry of firearms on the city streets near the capital grounds.
The answer by late morning was yes.
Communications earlier in the week from the Richmond Police Department suggested that a temporary gun ban was in place for many areas of downtown.
Richmond police implied they were using their authority to impose a firearms ban for a “permitted city event” even though no gun rights groups had requested event permits.
The prospect of a first-ever ban on openly armed pedestrians and demonstrators on this traditional day of citizen “lobbying”had raised fears of confrontations with Richmond city police.
Most prominent of the early arriving groups was the Virginia Knights militia led by Mike Dunn.
Their openly armed walkabout on the western boundary of the statehouse grounds went unchallenged by the state and local police tasked to guard the capital building.
So, as the morning has progressed, more armed citizens–taking their cue from the open carry commitment of the Virginia Knights–have begun to gather at the south west corner of the Capitol grounds.
Next up: The arrival of noisy caravans of gun rights supporters from all four corners of the state. The processions have been organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
The vehicles in the caravans will be placarded with “Guns Save Lives” messages, flags and banners.
The VCDL has encouraged drivers to loop through Richmond, and then to take to the sidewalks around the statehouse fence line to encourage legislators to preserve 2nd Amendment rights in the Old Dominion.