NBS Outdoor Fall Issue 2020

caused the legislature to back off of more extreme gun-control measures. State Senator Chap Petersen told Fox News that the show of political force from gun owners was a major part of what caused the legislature not to pass laws banning suppressors, magazines holding more than 12 rounds, and modern sporting rifles. The legislature watered down many gun-control measures that did pass. The grassroots Second Amendment movement in Virginia didn’t stop all the gun-control measures, but did slow the bleed. Increased funding from new grassroots activists is allowing groups to fight what they consider bad laws in court. After a lawsuit brought by VCDL and GOA, the court knocked down part of the new Universal Background Check law. Some in the Second Amendment community, such as Rob Pincus, whose company provides training services to military, law enforcement and

private security, sees gun owners taking the reins of the grassroots movement and demanding to be heard individually rather than through a spokesperson. “Grassroots advocacy has grown out of their understood need to represent themselves,” Pincus said. After all, individuals on the other side of the debate are certainly vocal. Grassroots activists took lessons learned in Virginia back to their home states. The Second Amendment sanctuary movement picked up steam, even in states like New Jersey, where counties began declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries. Just a year ago, that would have been unfathomable. Pennsylvania gun rights advocates began pushing for Second Amendment Sanctuaries by volunteering with national groups such as GOA. Val Finnel, GOA’s Pennsylvania director, says he’s seen an uptick in Pennsylvanians volunteering to advocate for local Second

Amendment sanctuary ordinances. “GOA volunteers have successfully enacted two ordinances in Pennsylvania townships. Additionally, nine additional townships, three boroughs, and nine counties have passed resolutions to protect the Second Amendment.” Gun owners who were content to sit back and do nothing a couple of years ago are now engaged in local grassroots activism. That, Finnel said, sends a clear message to Harrisburg that there’s strong Second Amendment support in Pennsylvania. States considered “gun-friendly” just a few years ago have been inundated with anti-gun money. Case in point: Texas. Rachel Malone is a grassroots activist organizing citizens on the ground to protect gun rights in her state. “We’re counting on everyday Texans who care about their individual liberties to stand up now before they Virginia our Texas,” Malone said. “Fortunately, the

14 • NBS OUTDOOR • Fall 2020

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