INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thousands of people on Monday filled the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. Some were packing heat.
In the crowd was Indiana state Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from Seymour. “It was just incredible. I’ve never seen so much ‘open carry’ in my life. Long guns, handguns, everything.”
Holding signs and chanting, gun-rights advocates went to Richmond for Lobby Day. They protested plans by the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature to pass tighter rules on gun ownership.
“A lot of the Democrat legislators out there, they’re really pushing to start eliminating a lot of the freedoms and rights. Well, I guess you can’t eliminate a right, you can infringe it. The rights they currently have, they’re going backward. People are upset and it showed,” Lucas said.
Security was tight. Lucas said he felt safe there. Virginia’s governor declared a temporary state of emergency last week to ban open and concealed firearms and other weapons from the State Capitol grounds. The governor also said that state intelligence analysts identified threats and violent rhetoric. Authorities wanted to prevent the kind of deadly violence that happened in Charlotesville, Virginia, in 2017.
“Everywhere you turned, there were police officers,” Lucas said. “The police officers were really, really cool.”
News 8 asked Lucas if he thinks a rally like Virginia’s could happen in Indiana. “To get that many people together, you have to give them a very good reason. With the governor and the Democrat legislators taking over Virginia and implementing all the gun-control laws that they are, that’s a pretty good reason.”
There were no arrests at Monday’s rally, according to a CNN report.