Chesterfield gun advocates fill Board of Supervisors meeting calling for protection of rights

Citizens in Chesterfield fight for gun protections

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - There were protests and fireworks at Chesterfield County’s Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday.

It comes as gun rights supporters are demanding county leaders make Chesterfield a Second Amendment sanctuary. It was standing room only inside as large crowds gathered outside to make their voices heard.

For gun rights supporters, it's about freedom and not having their rights come with limitations. Those fighting for gun control say it's time for change. Now county leaders are left to decide if they'll take a definite stance.

There were outbursts and outrage as leaders decided not to take a vote on the issue, which was never on the county’s agenda.

“Folks, I'm trying to maintain order in this room,” Chair Leslie Haley routinely told the crowd throughout the meeting.

Some 300 people made it inside of the meeting but hundreds more showed up in advance attempting to get in. Many were turned away because the Fire Marshal was on hand to make sure the meeting room didn’t exceed capacity.

Gun rights supporters took their fight outside with a huge rally with signs and calls for Chesterfield leaders to take action.

“Making assault rifles illegal so you can't possess them. I'm sorry, that's confiscation…This is a right of ours,” said Philip Van Cleave with the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Those on both sides of the issue aren't mincing words.

“We need to ask people who got killed with guns, even the reporter with WDBJ in Roanoke. She didn’t have any reason to believe that she should die but that man who was angry had a gun on him and he used it,” said Bertha Washington.

"Recently a gun was accidentally discharged in the Midlothian Walmart bathroom and another gun was fired in a Target parking lot. We live in a culture of constant fear thanks to the growing numbers of guns,” Susan Dandridge-Macfarland added.

In the end, Chesterfield leaders listened to it all but did not vote.

"In my household, we say the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Tanya Ricks said.

Gun advocates say they will continue to fight on the state level when lawmakers return to session in January.

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