HOPEWELL, Va. (WWBT) - A Hopewell man is giving away guns to send a loud message to lawmakers. Brandon Howard, 43, is a Second Amendment supporter who is on a mission to fight for gun rights, no matter the cost. He feels one way to promote his message is by running for public office.
"Bills are being put in place to take the rights of the citizens away,” Howard said.
Howard wants to be a councilman for the City of Hopewell.
"I know I’m the best person for this job,” he said, after losing when he ran four years ago.
Part of his campaign is to give away guns.
"Last Sunday, when I did my campaign kickoff, we gave away our first firearm which was a Diamondback AR-15.”
He's partnered with local businesses to perform background checks on the spot to ensure the guns get in the hands of those who are eligible.
“I believe every citizen who wants a firearm, who is a law-abiding citizen, should have a firearm so I’m helping them do it,” Howard said.
If it sounds outrageous, Howard says the real rage should come from courts dropping gun charges for criminals for plea bargains.
"Prosecute the laws on the books. Put these people in a prison cell in the cage where they belong. They’re going to get out, they’re going to re-offend and have a gun. Our law enforcement officers are going to go back and have to re-capture this person. Now their lives are in danger,” Howard added.
The gun advocate says a real-life scenario solidified his mission when someone tried to rob him.
“Stopped to get some dinner, take out. Came out with a bag of food in my hand and he came around the corner with a knife (saying” ‘give me your money’…(I) dropped my food, reached in my jacket, came out with my firearm (and said) ‘you move, you die’ and I held him at gunpoint until police showed up and arrested him,” he explained.
Now he doesn’t leave the house without a gun on his shoulder and a bullet proof vest.
"For someone who doesn’t want to own a firearm, it’s very simple. Don’t own a firearm…I’d rather have my firearm and never need it, than need my firearm and not have it,” Howard added.
Hopewell’s Registrar says so far no one has officially filed to run for office but the guidelines to do so will be unveiled early next year.
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