Access to firearms remains one of the hottest issues in Richmond. But the tone of the debate this year -- an election year -- is taking a dramatic turn.
State Senator Amanda Chase isn’t just advocating on behalf of gun advocates. She’s also packing heat.
Last week, she says, she became concerned about the increasingly hostile tone over the debate on immigration and the Equal Rights Amendment. So she started openly carrying a firearm in the halls of the Capitol and even on the floor of the Senate.
“I jokingly refer to my firearm as my Equal Rights Amendment. So it is an equalizer, and I plan to continue carrying throughout session just as a measure of precaution.”
Republicans have already dispatched almost every effort Democrats have introduced to limit access to guns, including bills to ban bump stocks or allow localities to limit guns in public buildings.
House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn is one of the few Democrats who have had any success at all with a bill to create tax breaks for gun safes.
“Years ago when I first thought about this I thought who could oppose this bill? The gun violence prevention people love it, and the NRA folks seem to like it because they have quick access to their weapon if an intruder comes in.”
Meanwhile Republicans are moving forward with bills to increase the presence of guns in churches.