The Virginia Committee on Public Safety voted to pass HB 961 on the morning of February 7th. However, political insiders believed the committee would not pass the bill. A man named Richard Plye claimed on Facebook that members of the House of Delegates told him the bill would “die in committee.”
Rumors this was not actually the case began to swirl after presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg headed to Norfolk, Virginia as part of his campaign.
As the meeting moved forward, 2A supporters scrambled to take off work to be present for the vote. Afterwards, some present in the crowd voiced their opposition. The State Police offered an ultimatum: leave or be arrested for trespassing.
Witnesses claim the protests were peaceful and civil, leading up to the ejection. When given the opportunity to speak, members of the crowd did so passionately, and to thunderous applause. A man shouted “right to assembly!”
As of yet, there has been no explanation on why the State Police ejected the protestor. The action left many present feeling jaded. A video shows the people present visibly upset while gathering their belongings before they might be made to forfeit their freedom. Trespassing and receiving a misdemeanor would prohibit the ability to demonstrate peacefully in the future.
If you’re not up to speed on HB961, read all about it here. Should the State Police have have ejected the crowd? Additionally, how could they have handled this differently? Do you think the representatives should have stood up for the crowd? Let us know what you think of all this in the comments below.